The following content on the site has been tagged with the research term "Kinesiology."

Laboratory Resources

CogMo EEG Facility

This lab has EEG equipment which can be used in a sound attenuated chamber.

CogMo Virtual Reality Lab

This laboratory is used to study the neural control of walking and standing.  It contains a three-screen visual cave to project a moving virtual visual scene surrounding the subject, linear motors to mechanically perturb the subject, a treadmill, a kinematic tracking system to record the subject's movements, and an EMG system to record the subject's muscle activations.

Exercise for Brain Health Laboratory

Dr. Smith, his team of investigators, and collaborators are interested in the potential efficacy for exercise to affect brain function and memory in healthy older adults at genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease, as well as in patients diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI). The ultimate goal is to provide evidence for exercise to delay conversion to Alzheimer's disease and protect against age-related cognitive decline. In addition, Dr. Smith examines how acute and chronic exercise or physical activity may alter emotional reactivity, attention allocation, and cognitive function among patients with anxiety and/or depressive mood disorders.

Functional Genomics Laboratory

Our laboratory focuses on two different areas of genetics: understanding the role of genetics (gene variation) in explaining how different individuals respond to various exercise programs and why similar people can respond differently to the same stimulus. And, we are examining how exercise/physical activity can influence DNA itself (e.g., telomere biology, epigenetics). 


Stephen M. Roth, Ph.D., Professor and Lab Director
Andrew Venezia, PhD student in the NACS program

Former Postdocs and Ph.D. Students:

Steven Prior, Ph.D., 2005 - currently Assistant Professor, Univ. Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore
Sean Walsh, Ph.D., 2006 - currently Associate Professor, Central Connecticut State Univ.
Dongmei Liu, Ph.D., 2008 - currently Assistant Professor, University of Shanghai, China
Ryan Sheppard, Ph.D., 2010 - currently research officer, U.S. Navy
Andy Ludlow, Ph.D., 2012 - currently Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Lisa Guth, Ph.D., 2014 - currently Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan

Sarah Witkowski, Ph.D. (Post-doctoral fellow) - currently Assistant Professor, Univ. Massachusetts 


Lab Projects:

Dr. Roth has formal training in both exercise physiology and genetics. The work of the NIH-funded laboratory is focused on two areas: 1) Understanding the role of genetic variation (and environmental interaction) in determining inter-individual differences in skeletal muscle traits, exercise adaptations, and other health-related phenotypes. 2) Exploring the role of physical activity in altering DNA structure, including investigations of both telomere length and epigenetics (e.g., DNA methylation).

Recent student-led projects include analysis of the role of acute and chronic exercise in telomere length and telomere biology in mice; molecular analysis of the impact of genetic variation in the androgen receptor gene on muscle gene regulation; investigation of the role of physical activity ancestry in body composition, metabolism, and gene expression in mice. 

The Functional Genomics Lab also collaborates with other groups on a variety of genetics-related projects, including studies of hypertension and exercise responses, and exercise as a moderator of genetic risk of dementia. 


Roth, S.M. (2007). Genetics Primer for Exercise Science and Health. Champaign IL: Human Kinetics. ISBN: 0736063439. (see Human Kinetics website)

Pescatello, L.S., S.M. Roth (Co-editors). (2011) Exercise Genomics (in the Molecular and Translational Medicine series). Humana Press. 287 pages. ISBN: 9781607613541. (see Humana website)

Research Articles: 
Search PubMed for recent publications

Recent, representative publications (* indicates student advisee):

  1. Sheppard, R.L.*, E.E. Spangenburg, E.R. Chin, S.M. Roth. Androgen receptor polyglutamine repeat length affects receptor activity and C2C12 cell development. Physiological Genomics, 43: 1135-1143, 2011.
  2. Sood, S., E.D. Hanson, M.J. Delmonico, M.C. Kostek, B.D. Hand, S.M. Roth, B.F. Hurley. Does insulin-like growth factor 1 genotype influence muscle power response to strength training in older men and women? European Journal of Applied Physiology, 11: 743-753, 2012.
  3. Ludlow, A.T.*, S. Witkowski, M.R. Marshall*, J. Wang*, L.C.J. Lima*, L.M. Guth*, E.E. Spangenburg, S.M. Roth. Chronic exercise modifies age-related telomere dynamics in a tissue-specific fashion. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 67(9): 911-926, 2012.
  4. Deeny, S.P., J. Winchester, K. Nichols, S.M. Roth, J.C. Wu, M. Dick, C.W. Cotman. Cardiovascular fitness is associated with altered cortical glucose metabolism during working memory in ɛ4 carriers. Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 8: 352-256, 2012.
  5. Ludlow, A.T.*, L.C.J. Lima*, J. Wang*, E.D. Hanson, L.M. Guth*, E.E. Spangenburg, S.M. Roth. Exercise alters mRNA expression of telomere-repeat binding factor 1 in skeletal muscle via p38 MAPK. Journal of Applied Physiology, 113: 1737-1746, 2012.
  6. Guth, L.M.*, A.T. Ludlow*, S. Witkowski*, M.R. Marshall*, L.C.J. Lima*, A.C. Venezia*, T. Xiao, M.-L.T. Lee, E.E. Spangenburg, S.M. Roth. Sex-specific effects of exercise ancestry on metabolic, morphological and gene expression phenotypes in multiple generations of mouse offspring. Experimental Physiology, 98(10): 1469-1484, 2013.
  7. Ludlow, A.T.*, E.E. Spangenburg, E.R. Chin, W.-H. Cheng, S.M. Roth. Telomeres shorten in response to oxidative stress in mouse skeletal muscle fibers. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences, 69 (7): 821-830, 2014.
  8. Roth, S.M., T. Rankinen, J.M. Hagberg, R.J.F. Loos, L. Perusse, M.A. Sarzynski, B. Wolfarth, C. Bouchard. Advances in exercise, fitness, and performance genomics in 2011. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 44 (5): 809-817, 2012.
  9. Roth, S.M. Critical overview of applications of genetic testing in sport talent identification. Recent Patents on DNA & Gene Sequences, 6: 247-255, 2012.
  10. Roth, S.M. Genetic aspects of skeletal muscle strength and mass with relevance to sarcopenia. BoneKEy Reports, 1, Article number 58: 1-7, 2012.
  11. Perusse, L., T. Rankinen, J.M. Hagberg, R.J.F. Loos, S.M. Roth, M.A. Sarzynski, B. Wolfarth, C. Bouchard. Advances in exercise, fitness, and performance genomics in 2012. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 45(5): 824-831, 2013.
  12. Guth, L.M.*, S.M. Roth. Genetic influence on athletic performance. Invited review for Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 25: 653-658, 2013.
  13. Ludlow, A.T.*, L.W. Ludlow, S.M. Roth. Do telomeres adapt to physiological stress? Exploring the effect of exercise on telomere length and telomere-related proteins.” BioMed Research International, Article ID 601368: 1-15, 2013.
  14. Wolfarth, B., T. Rankinen, J.M. Hagberg, R.J.F. Loos, L. Perusse, S.M. Roth, M.A. Sarzynski, C. Bouchard. Advances in exercise, fitness, and performance genomics in 2013. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46(5): 851-859, 2014.
  15. Roth, S.M. Physical activity may improve aging through impacts on telomere biology. Kinesiology Review. 4: 99-106, 2015.
  16. Loos, R.J.F., J.M., Hagberg, L. Perusse, S.M. Roth, M.A. Sarzynski, B. Wolfarth, T. Rankinen, C. Bouchard. Advances in exercise, fitness, and performance genomics in 2014. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47(6): 1105-1112, 2015.
  17. Venezia AC, Guth LM, Spangenburg EE, Roth SM. Lifelong parental voluntary wheel running increases offspring hippocampal Pgc-1α mRNA expression but not mitochondrial content or Bdnf expression. NeuroReport, 26: 467-472, 2015.


Lab Equipment

The Functional Genomics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland is a ~1000 sq ft wet lab dedicated to functional genomics-based laboratory and computer analysis procedures, including DNA extraction, PCR, both Taqman and RFLP genotyping, electrophoresis, telomere length/telomerase, and in silico genetic analysis. The lab is equipped with large capacity cold storage space, including 4°C (~70 cu ft) and -20°C refrigerators and freezers, four MJ PTC-100 and one MJ PTC-200 (gradient) DNA Engine thermal cyclers, large and small gel electrophoresis stations, the Victor2 microplate reader (fluorescence polarization, absorbance, luminescence, etc.), the Applied Biosystems 7300 Real-Time PCR System (Taqman), UV transillumination and gel photo documentation center (Kodak EDAS system) with dedicated computer and imaging software, GeneQuant DNA/RNA spectrophotometer, Type 1 water system with DNase/Rnase-free capabilities, large and small refrigerated centrifuges, chemical hood, hot plate stirrers, water bath, ovens, heating blocks, measurement scale, pH meter, vortexes, microwave oven, dedicated ice machine, and several computers. The Department of Kinesiology maintains two -80°C freezers with backup support systems for storing tissue samples. 

The University of Maryland maintains a DNA sequencing core facility on campus, and a microarray core facility on a nearby campus, both of which are available to our lab for on-going projects.  The laboratory also maintains close collaborations with the Molecular Systems Laboratory, directed by Dr. Spangenburg, in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Spangenburg's lab is well-equipped for cell culture and molecular biology techniques. 

Background Information: 

Why is the study of genetics important?

To put it simply, genes make proteins that influence our body's structure and function. The insulin gene, for instance, results in the production of the insulin protein that is important for sugar metabolism. Researchers estimate currently that humans have about 23,000 genes. More importantly, we all have the SAME GENES! But we're all different, so how can that be? Although we all have the same genes, slight differences (called sequence variations) exist in a gene's structure and can affect how that gene functions in the body. In other words, the letters that make up the spelling of each gene can be slightly different in different people, which can then influence when a gene is turned on, how much protein it makes, or how well the produced protein functions. When you hear someone say, "the gene for this or that" they are actually referring to the gene's unique letter sequence. These sequence variations (known as SNPs or "snips" in the research community) are what make you unique (in part!) and different from everyone else (identical twins being an exception: same gene spelling!). But we mustn't forget one important factor: the ENVIRONMENT! In this case, environment means everything from child development, nutrition, drug use, disease and even EXERCISE (our favorite environmental stimulus). So genes and gene variations work within different environments to impact a person's physical structure and function. Certain gene and environment combinations can mean a predisposition for some individuals to certain diseases, not to mention differences in their ability to respond to various diet, exercise, or drug treatments. So why is the study of genetics important? Studying genetic variation in the context of different environments will help us learn why some individuals are predisposed to disease, why some individuals don't respond well to an exercise stimulus (or response very well!), why some folks can improve diabetes with diet and exercise while others require drug therapy, etc. In other words, both the environment (what you do and what is done to you) AND your genetic make-up affect how your body will function; we're out to study both, especially in the contexts of aging and exercise.

How do we study the impact of genetics on health?

Using equipment in our Functional Genomics Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology, we can determine the specific sequence variation of a specific gene for our study volunteers. When we determine a "candidate" gene of interest that we think might influence how a person responds to exercise (or some other health or environmental variable), we can use various methods to determine what sequence variants (SNPs) exist for that particular gene. Then, we recruit volunteers to participate in our studies, use lab techniques to determine the sequence variation of that gene for each person, then study if the gene variant appears to affect that person's response to the stimulus. As you can see in our Publications section, we've begun to determine associations for some genes, but much work remains! One important point:  although the news media might make it seem that there exists one gene for every health variable, that's just not so! While this may be the case for some rare diseases (muscular dystrophy, for example), diseases/disorders like breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease are NOT determined by a single gene or gene sequence variant. Several genes and gene variants in addition to environmental stimuli will work together to determine a person's risk for various disorders. So when you hear the news media report on "a new gene" that explains a person's risk for something, use caution and remember that it's very likely only ONE OF MANY genes (plus the environment) that influence that trait!

What is functional genomics?

One other phrase that's received a lot of press in the scientific literature and we've actually chosen as our lab's title is "Functional Genomics." While "Genetics" encompasses the genes and gene sequence variants that we've described above, getting from a specific gene to a physical structure or function (or Health) is not that simple. Genes are located on DNA, DNA is transcribed into RNA, RNA is translated into a Protein, and then that Protein performs some function in the body. With about 23,000 genes and likely more than 150,000 proteins, there's a LOT that goes on in the body beyond just the gene sequence!! In other words, things are messy in the body and functional genomics takes a more global look at these factors in order to determine the CAUSE of an association between a gene variant and a health variable. Rather than just concentrating on the gene or the gene variant, we might look at the RNA for that gene, as well as the protein, in different environmental contexts in order to determine just how that gene might be functioning. In addition, functional genomics is concerned with the interactions of many genes, working in concert. 

Human Performance Biopsychology Laboratory


Welcome to the Human Perfomance Biopsychology Laboratory. The laboratory is located in the Department of Kinesiology within the University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health 

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The Human Performance Biopsychology Laboratory studies the neural and biopsychological basis of elite human performance. More specifically, we examine the brain dynamics of performers from a neurocognitive, affective and psychomotor perspective. Much of our work centers around the concept of psychomotor efficiency and utilizes various psychophysiological measures to further our understanding of high-level cognitive-motor performance.  Specific areas of interest include cognitive/mental workload, mental stress and resilience, mental preparation, practice methodologies, biofeedback, mindfulness, sleep, and team dynamics. The laboratory is equipped for testing and analyzing human performance with electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), eye-tracking, motion analysis, and dynamometry.


Research Projects

Coming Soon!



Bradley D. Hatfield CV/Resume

Dr. Hatfield is Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park with adjunct appointments in the Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences (NACS) as well as the Center on Aging and a secondary appointment in the School of Medicine (Department of Epidemiology and Public Health). He is a Fellow and President-elect of the National Academy of Kinesiology, and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the Research Consortium of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD), and he is a charter Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology (AAASP).  His current research is focused on 1) the assessment of cognitive load based on cerebral cortical dynamics during motor performance (funded by Lockheed-Martin Corporation) and 2) the role of physical activity and genetics in mental health. 









Rodolphe Gentili

Dr. Gentili is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science (NACS), Maryland Robotics Center. The central theme of Dr. Gentili's research is to understand the brain processes underlying human motor behavior by employing, experimental cognitive-motor neuroscience, computational modeling and robotics-based approaches. Dr. Gentili uses electroencephalography (EEG), functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), kinematics, dynamics, electromyography (EMG), computational modeling and robotics to examine the brain processes underlying human cognitive-motor adaptation, learning and performance.  

Hyuk Oh Ph.D. CV/Resume

Hyuk has a background in computer science and computational neuroscience at the University of Southern California and then at the University of Maryland College Park. His research focuses on developing neurally inspired network models to inform the cognitive-motor behavior in human as well as on neuroimaging data processing.   


Li-Chuan Lo Ph.D. CV/Resume

Li-Chuan is recently graduated with a doctoral degree Kinesiology from the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park. She is a collaborative human behavioral researcher with a background in education psychology and training is psychophysiology. She has over 10 years of experience conducting observational experiments whose focus was to investigate the effect of stress on human attention and cognitive motor performance. She has served as a project manager and team leader executing data collection and analyses. 

Yue Du Ph.D. (Post-Doctoral Scholar) CV/Resume

DY is recently graduated with a doctoral degree in Kinesiology from the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park. He is currently a post-doc co-supervised with Dr. Jane Clark and Dr. Bradley Hatfield. His research is focused on how distinct learning processes interactively act during motor sequence learning and their functional roles in learning and memory that operate across different timescales (i.e., consolidation, retention and generalization). His long-term goal is to understand motor learning as well as its computational, cognitive, and neural underpinnings and use these motor learning principles to unravel the processes underlying the age-related development of motor learning. 

Graduate Students


Kyle Jaquess M.A. (Ph.D. Student) CV/Resume

Kyle is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. His research primarily focuses on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying the optimal learning state, based upon the challenge point framework which can elucidate details regarding the effective learning of cognitive-motor skills and to further the fields of kinesiology, psychology, cognitive-neuroscience, and ergonomics. Constructs of interest include expertise, engagement, self-control, learning and memory, mental workload, and the optimal challenge point.

Bradley Ritland DPT, OCS (Ph.D. Student) CV/Resume

Bradley, is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. His research focuses primarily on how sleep levels impact human performance on (cognitive, psychomotor, and physical tasks). He is currently investigating how a short-term sleep extension intervention may impact/enhance performance on a cognitive and motor test battery. 

Drew Ginsberg MAT (Ph.D. Student) CV/Resume

Drew is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. His research primarily focuses on understanding mental preparation from a psychophysiological perspective. He seeks to identify mechanisms explaining the mental preparation (psyching) force production relationship by combining neurophysiological, physiological, psychological and biomechanical measures using electroencephalography (EEG), electromyography (EMG), and isokinetic dynamometer to examine this relationship. 

Calvin Lu (MA Student) CV/Resume

Calvin in currently a masters student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. His research primarily focuses on how deep diaphragmatic breathing is able to alter autonomic and central nervous system activities. And its ability to improve human performance. Along with the possibility of utilizing deep diaphragmatic breathing as a treatment or rehabilitation technique.

Steve Kahl M.S. (Ph.D. Student) CV/Resume

Steve is currently a doctoral student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park pursuing a degree in Kinesiology. His research primarily focuses on analyzing the connection between sleep and human performance from both a physical and mental perspective. He seeks to investigate the decision making process of the elite performer under physical and mental load. 







Visiting Faculty 



Yingzhi Lu Ph.D. CV/Resume

Yingzhi is a visiting professor from Shanghai University of Sport. Her primary research focuses on two aspects. One is the cognitive processing of highly experienced athletes (such as prediction, decision-making, etc.), and another is the motor performance and brain activities with different emotions (negative vs. positive; fear vs. disgust, etc.). To address these issues, the event-related potentials (ERPs), techniques of electroencephalography (EEG), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) were used in her research.


Mingjung Woo Ph.D. CV/Resume

Mingjung is a visiting professor from the School of Exercise and Sport Science University of Ulsan, South Korea. Her reserach is focused around exercise, gene and cognition in the developing brain. In addition her research is centered on the psychophysical aspect of exercise and sport with a focus on the role of neurofeedback training for peak performance. Techniques she utilizes includes electroencephalography (EEG) and event-related potentials (ERP's). 

Undergraduate Students 

Eric Elue

Eric is currently a sophmore undergraduate kinesiology student in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland College Park. He hopes to attend medical school and pursue a career in medical research. 


Josh Teso

Josh is currently a undergraduate rising senior at the University of California Santa Cruz. From his Intensive Psychology degree he hopes to attend a cognitive psychology Phd program. 

Previous Members

Year Name  Position durng Membership  Disseratation/Thesis Current Location 
2016 Li-Chaun Lo Doctoral Student  The Influence of Conscious Control of Movement on Brain Processes and the Quality of Cognitive Motor Performance  
2016 Mark Saffer  Doctoral Student  The Impact of Motor Learning on Motor Behavior and Cortical Dynamics in a Complex Stressful Social Environment   
2016  Ying Ying Tan Doctoral Student  The Influence of Motivation on Emotion Regulation and Motor Performance: Examination of a Neuro-Affective Model  
2016 Seth Nieman  Master's Student    United States Military Academy, West Point
2016 Margaret Dumm Undergraduate Student     
2015  Clayton Domingues Visting Professor    Universidade Federal Fluminense, in Niteroi, Brazil 
2013 Matthew Miller Doctoral Student  A programmatic research approach to understanding the impact of team environment on cerebral cortical dynamics and attention.  Auburn University, Auburn Alabama 
Maureen Kayes 
Doctoral Student  Variability in Cognitive Performance and Learning in Young Adults Explained by Cardiovascular Fitness, Physical Activity, and ApoE Genotype   
2013 Bartlett Russell Doctoral Student  The effect of mental stress on brain dynamics and performance related to attention control druing a vigilance task: An electroencephalographic investigation  Lockheed-Martin Corporation 
2012 Melissa Pangelinan Doctoral Student  Brain Function Underlying Adaptive Sensorimotor Control in Children With and Without Developmental Coordination Disorder  Auburn University, Auburn Alabama 
2011 Michelle Costanzo Doctoral Student  Examination of the brain processes underlying emotion regulation within a stress-resilient population Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
2011 Jeremy Rietschel Doctoral Student  Psychophysiological Investigation of Attentional Processes during Motor Learning  Veteran's Administration Hospital 
2008 Ronald N. Goodman Doctoral Student  Performing Motor Skills Under Psychological Stress - Assessment of Neurobiological and Genetic Influence University of Maryland at Baltimore Medical School 
2008 Minjung Woo Doctoral Student  Physical Fitness, Brain Function, and the Role of the Apolipoprotein E4 Allele in Young Adults  Korea University, Seoul Korea
2007 Shu-Chen Lee Doctoral Student  Spectators' Emotional and Physiological Response to Televised Sports Violence : A Test of Sensation Seeking Theory   
2005 Sean Deeny Doctoral Student  Physical activity is associated with greater task-related cortical activation during executive function and working memory challenge in cognitively normal middle-aged APOE E4 carriers and non-carriers Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago 
2004 Park Lockwood Doctoral Student  Aerobic exercise, hemispheric Asymmetry and affective state: Does exercise differentially impact approach versus withdrawal-oriented individuals?  Washburn University, Topeka, Kansas 
2003 Walter Bixby Doctoral Student  A multifaceted examination of the exercise and effect relationshp Elon University, Elon North Carolina 
2002 Scott Kerick Doctoral Student  Neurocognitive adaptations associated with marksmanship training Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Aberdeen, Maryland 
2002 Lisa D. McAllister Doctoral Student  Selective attention characteristics of expert and novice rifle shooters: An electrocortical study University of Maryland, College Park Maryland 
2000 Charles H. Hillman Doctoral Student Cardiovascular fitness and neurocognitive processes in older adults University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois 
1999 Pekka Saarela Doctoral Student The effect of mental stress of cerebral hemispheric asymmetry and psychomotor performance in skilled marksmen Finnish Institute of Occupational Health 
1999 Ross J. Apparies Doctoral Student The relationship of attention to cortical slow potentials Neuroscan Laboratories, El Paso, Texas 
1998 Cassandra Blanchard Doctoral Student The effect of exercise-induced hyperthermia on post exercise cerebral asymmetry and affective state  
1997 Amy J. Haufler Doctoral Student The psychology of expert performance: Comparative brain activation profiles in marksmen and novice shooters Johns Hopins University Applied Physics Laboratory 
1996 T.M. Hung Doctoral Student Are fast-action sport athletes characterized by greater attentional flexibility and motor preparedness? An electrophysiological study of table tennis players Graduate Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Taipei Physical Education College, Taiwan, Republic of China 
1996 Robyn Snyder-Bauer Doctoral Student The effect of exercise-induced hypoglycemia on selected measures of central nervous system function in elite cyclists Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey 
1995 Lewis Lyon Doctoral Student A comparative analysis of aerobic conditioning, resistance training, and a structured stress management program in the attenuation of the adult psychophysiological response to cognitive stress Good Health Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Baltimore. Maryland 
1993 Evan Brody Doctoral Student The effect of attention upon force alteration and activation of the biceps and medial triceps brachii during an isometric elbow flexion task: An EMG assessment University of Maryland, College Park Maryland 
1993 David W. Armstrong Doctoral Student The role of opioid receptors in exercising humans acutely exposed to cold and hot air National Naval Medical Command Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland 

We are very proud of our collaborations with

Army Research Laboratory Aberdeen Proving Grounds
Auburn University, School of Kinesiology 
Brain and Behavior Initiative
Defense Science Organization, Singapore
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Vertical Lift Research Center of Excellence(AGRC), University of Maryland, College Park 
Institute of Systems Research, A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park
Lockheed Martin Corporation
National Taiwan Normal Univeristy, Department of Physical Education 
Program in Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland, University of Maryland, College Park
Reserve Officers Training Corps University of Maryland, College Park 
Shanghai University of Sport
The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, University of Maryland, College Park 
The University of Florida, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology 
The University of Maryland Athletic Department
The United States Military Academy West Point
The United States Naval Academy
United States Department of Defense
Universidade Federal Fluminense, Niteroi, Brazil
University of Maryland at Baltimore Medical School
University of Ulsan, School of Sport and Exercise Science, South Korea
Veteran's Administration Hospital Baltimore and Washington 
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center
Electroencephalography (EEG)
Electromyography (EMG)
Electrocardiogram (EKG)
Eye Tracking


Saliva Collection





Blood Samples 


Sleep Measurements



News Type 


Summer 2018  Dissertation Defense  Kyle Jaquess successfully defended his dissertation. Congrats Dr. Jaquess. 
Summer 2018  Dissertation Defense  Bradley Ritland successfully defended his dissertation. Congrats Dr. Ritland. 
Summer 2018 New Student Welcome to Josh Teso (University of California, Santa Cruz) as he joins the lab as an undergraduate student.
Spring 2018 Award Calvin Lu was awarded the Jacob K. Goldhaber Travel Grant. 
Spring 2018 Award Kyle Jaquess was awarded The James H. Humphrey Graduate Student Published Research Award for his article titled: Empirical Evidence for the Relationship Between Cognitive Workload and Attentional Reserve. 
Spring 2018 Presentation Dr. Hatfield gave The 2018 Bernard B. Ramsey Lecture Series Lecture produced by the Department of Kinesiology in the College of Education at The University of Georgia titled: The Brain and Mind of the Elite Performer: Efficient, Refined, and Resilient to Stress.
Spring 2018 Presentation Drew Ginsberg presented at The Sixth Annual Public Health Research @ Maryland Conference titled: The Effect of Mental Preparation on Voluntary Torque Production and Cortico-Cortical Communication. 
Spring 2018 Presentation Calvin Lu presented at The Sixth Annual Public Health Research @ Maryland Conference titled: Indexing Attentional Focus: A Critical Neural Element of Athletic Performance.

Fall 2017 


Congratulations to Bradley Ritland who was awarded the Department of Kinesiology graduate student grant program, Graduate Research Initiative Project (GRIP) to assist in funding his dissertation project. 

Fall 2017 


Kyle Jaquess presented at the Mid-Atlantic Region Conference of the American College of Sports Medicine in Harrisburg, PA titled: Memory Systems Engagement as a Potential Neurocognitive Mechanism Underlying the Effectiveness of Self-Regulated Practice.

Fall 2017  Presentation  Eric Elue presnted at the Mid-Atlantic Region Conference of the American College of Sports Medicine in Harrisburg, PA titled: Psyching Effects on Voluntary Torque Production and Cortico-Cortical Communication using EEG. 

Fall 2017 


Calvin Lu presented at the Mid-Atlantic Region Conference of the American College of Sports Medicine in Harrisburg, PA titled: Indexing Attentional Focus: A Critical Neural Element of Athletic Performance.

Fall 2017 


Drew Ginsberg presented at the Mid-Atlantic Region Conference of the American College of Sports Medicine in Harrisburg, PA titled: The Effect of Mental Preparation on Voluntary Torque Production and Cortico-Cortical Communication. 

Fall 2017


Kyle Jaquess gave a presented at Neuroscience 2017, in Washington D.C. titled: The Relationship Between Cognitive Workload and Attentional Reserve: An empirical investigation. 

Summer 2017


Visiting Student Yingzhi Lu was named an assistant professor at Shanghai University of Sport. Congratulations to the new professor! 

Summer 2017  New Student  Welcome to Eric Elue as he joins the lab as an undergraduate student.

Summer 2017


Drew Ginsberg received the Graduate School Summer Research Fellowship which allowed him the opportunity to concentrate fully on scholarly activities and research. Congratulations Drew! 

Summer 2017 


Kyle Jaquess presented at the North American Society for Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity in San Diego, CA titled: Changes in Mental Workload and Motor Performance During the Learning of a Novel Cognitive-Motor Task Over Practice Sessions. 

Spring 2017 

Visiting Professor 

Dr. Mingjung Woo from University of Ulsan, South Korea joined the lab as a visiting professor.

Spring 2017


Congratuations to Dr. Hyuk Oh as he was named a Research Assistant Professor within the Kinesiology Department, School of Public Health University of Maryland College Park. 

Spring 2017 


Dr. Hatfield is awarded a grant from the Department of Defense: Army-Aviation Applied Technology Directorate. Title: Influence of Brain Processes on Cognitive Workload under Varying Levels of Challenge in a Degraded Visual Environment During Helicoptor Flight

Spring 2017

Dissertation Defense 

Yingzhi Lu successfully defended her dissertation. Congratulations Dr. YZ! 

Fall 2016 

President Elect 

Dr. Hatfield is named elected by the National Academy of Kinesiolgoy as the President-Elect of the 86 year old organization. Congratulations to Dr. Hatfield! 

Fall 2016

New Student 

Welcome to Steve Kahl as he joins the lab as a Ph.D. student. 

Spring 2016 

Invited Talk 

Dr. Hatfield delivered a talk at the University of Texas, Dallas Texas Center for Brain Health Lecture series titled: The Mind of the Elite Performer - A Neurobiological Perspective 

Spring 2016

Dissertation Defense 

Congratulations to Yue Du for successfully defending his dissertation. Congrats Dr. Du! 

Spring 2016

Dissertation Defense 

Congratulations to Yue Du for successfully defending his dissertation. Congrats Dr. Du! 

Fall 2015 

Dissertation Defense 

Congratulations to Hyuk Oh who successfully defended his dissertation. Congrats Dr. Oh! 

Fall 2015 

Dissertation Defense 

Congratulations to Li-Chaun Lo who successfully defended her dissertation. Congrats Dr. Lo! 


Want to get involved?

For information about student opportunities, current research projects, how to get involved as a volunteer or explore colloboration with our research team, please contact us 

Office Phone:
(301) 405.2450
Mailing Address:
Department of Kinesiology
Bradley D. Hatfield
School of Public Health (Bldg. #225)
University of Maryland
4200 Valley Drive
College Park, MD 20742

Locomotion Lab

Welcome to the web site for the Locomotion Lab at the University of Maryland. The lab is part of the Department of Kinesiology, under the direction of Dr. Ross Miller in the Cognitive Motor Neurosciences division. We use a combination of experimentation on human subjects and computer modeling techniques to study how the neural, muscular, and skeletal systems interact to produce locomotion in health and disease.

See the links in the header for more information on our members, aims, and current activity.

To inquire about joining the lab, please click here.

Recent News

  • Grant on data sharing in gait biomechanics funded by NSERC
  • A graduate research assistantship is available for a new Ph.D. student

Locomotion Lab - Joining the lab

I'm always looking for highly motivated students with interests that overlap with the lab’s. Interested students with backgrounds in biology, computer science, engineering, kinesiology, neuroscience, or physical therapy are encouraged to contact Dr. Miller.

Open positions in the lab will be advertised on this page and on the Biomch-L “Jobs and Positions” message board. Please contact me if you are interested in an advertised position, but don’t hesitate to contact me anyway if you see nothing listed here.

Graduate Research Assistantship – posted December 6, 2012 
A full-time research assistantship is currently available for a new Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Miller. The assistantship is available immediately for two semesters, with the possibilities of renewal for additional semesters and additional funding through departmental teaching assistantships. The student will be expected to assist with ongoing research in the lab and to develop a thesis project within the interests of the lab.

Locomotion Lab - People

Ross Miller, Assistant Professor

Graduate Students 
Dovin Kiernan, MA student

Jae Shim, University of Maryland 
Tim Kiemel, University of Maryland 
Kevin Deluzio, Queen's University (Canada) 
Scott Selbie, C-Motion Inc.

Locomotion Lab - Research


The human neural, muscular, and skeletal systems are each enormously complex in isolation, let alone when their actions are considered in concert. Yet somehow, the body in a healthy state achieves an elegant, seemingly effortless control of these systems. Disruptions in the form of disease, injury, or degradation can make even the most trivial movement tasks very difficult and have a tremendous impact on quality of life.

Research projects in the lab often center on gait (walking, running, sprinting) and related tasks (e.g. side-cutting) but we occasionally study other movements as well. The lab's long-term objectives are (1) to develop theories that explain and accurately predict the mechanics and energetics of human locomotion under a wide range of circumstances, and (2) to use principles from engineering, physiology, and neuroscience for early identification and prevention of locomotor impairments (e.g. osteoarthritis, running injuries).

Much of our work is motivated by the notion of optimal control theory, which posits that humans learn to move in ways that are optimal with respect to physiologically relevant goals. For example, it is often assumed that the goal of normal, healthy walking is to minimize the metabolic cost. Pathological gait typically has a greater energy cost than healthy gait, and can be viewed as a forced deviation from optimality, or as being optimal with respect to a different goal (e.g. perhaps individuals with osteoarthritis minimize pain or instability rather than energy).

Current Projects

  1. A public database on human biomechanical gait analysis
    Data sharing has many potential advantages in human movement science, but most biomechanists do not share their data with each other. In this project, we are initiating a publicly accessible database on the kinetics and kinematics of locomotion (walking and running) in healthy adults, along with statistical metrics for assessing data quality. Funding: NSERC (Engage)Collaborators: Kevin Deluzio (Queen's University), Scott Selbie (C-Motion Inc.)
  2. Optimal control simulations of human locomotion by direct collocation
    Optimal control models are a versatile and powerful tool for studying human movement, but traditional approaches for implementing them in biomechanics research are extremely computationally intensive, often requiring days of CPU time on high-performance computing clusters. Direct collocation methods can solve optimal control problems in minutes on a single CPU, and can potentially make these simulations feasible for interactive clinical research and real-time applications. We have developed a 2D direct collocation simulation model of human movement to study neural control strategies and sensorimotor integration in locomotion. Collaborators: Tim Kiemel (University of Maryland)
  3. Peak and cumulative joint loads in human walking and running
    Gait analysis produces a variety of complex, time-varying signals that must be collapsed to discrete data for statistical analysis. In osteoarthritis (OA) research, often the peak value of the joint load is chosen for this metric. If peak loads are generally injurious, we would expect nearly every runner to get knee OA, since peak knee joint loads in running are very high and are experienced thousands of times a day. However, runners do not have an especially high incidence rate of OA compared to non-runners. In this study we are comparing joint loading parameters between walking and running to assess if the biomechanics of running somehow protect the knee joint from loads that would be otherwise injurious, and if these principles can assist in preventing OA in at-risk individuals.

Locomotion Lab - Publications







Locomotion Lab - Courses

A list of selected Graduate Catalog Courses in the Kinesiology department with content related to work in the lab.

  • KNES 402: Biomechanics of Sport Mechanical determinants influencing sport techniques. A quantitative, scientific basis for sport analysis with emphasis on the application to numerous sport activities. Evaluation and quantification of the filmed performance of athletes.
  • KNES 462: Neural Basis of Human Movement An introduction to the neural substrates which underlie postural and volitional movement. Neuroanatomical and neurophysiological basis of motor functioning; past and present conceptualizations of motor control and coordination; movement disorders; and maturation of the neuromuscular system.
  • KNES 603: Advanced Motor Development The analysis of major theoretical positions in motor skill development. Stage theory in motor development; development of motor skill memory; the development of motor control and coordination; and the role of reflexes in motor development.
  • KNES 604: Development of Posture & Locomotion Development of posture and locomotion in humans integrating the perspectives of biomechanics, neurophysiology, perception-action theory and dynamical systems.
  • KNES 670: Biomechanics Theory Theoretical basis for understanding the investigation of biomechanical aspects of the human body. Integration of subject matter from physics, engineering, anatomy, kinesiology, and physiology as it relates to the study of human motion and the body as a mechanical system.
  • KNES 676: Multisensory Perception & Human Motor Control Overview of the major sensory inputs to human motor control and spatial orientatin including auditory, somatosensory, visual and vestibular.
  • KNES 703: Research Seminar in Motor Development Issues and strategies in the design and evaluation of research in motor skill development. Course culminates in student planning, conducting and interpreting a reserch study.

Beginning in 2013, all students in the Kinesiology graduate program are required to take KNES 600 (Kinesiology in Public Health), KNES 601 (Epidemiology of Physical Activity), and KNES 610 (Methods & Techniques of Research). Other courses of interest may be found in the Bioengineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering departments, and the Biological Sciences and Neuroscience & Cognitive Science programs.

Locomotion Lab - Resources


Most data collections take place in the Locomotion Research Lab, a shared space on the first floor of the SPH Building with Dr. Jae Shim. The equipment available in the lab includes:

  1. A 12-camera Vicon optical motion capture system (six T160 cameras and six T40 cameras) 
  2. A runway with 10 AMTI strain gauge force platforms 
  3. A 16-channel Delsys Trigno wireless electromyography system 
  4. A CosMed K4b2 portable pulmonary gas exchange system


Matlab - general scientific computing and numerical analysis 
Visual3D - biomechanical data processing and inverse dynamics modeling 
OpenSim - musculoskeletal modeling and simulation 
MotionGenesis Kane - symbolic dynamics manipulation for multibody motion 
Adobe Illustrator - preparation of graphics and figures

Access to the university's High Performance Computing Cluster is available for computationally intensive projects.

Additional Links

Scholarly Societies

  American College of Sports Medicine
  American Society of Biomechanics
  American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  Canadian Society for Biomechanics
  International Society of Biomechanics
  International Society of Biomechanics in Sports
  Society for the Neural Control of Movement

Research Labs

  Dalhousie University - Neuromuscular Control in Orthopedics
  East Carolina University - Biomechanics Lab
  Free University of Amsterdam - MOVE Research Institute
  Harvard University - Concord Field Station
  Harvard University - <a data-cke-saved-href="" href="" "="" target="new" style="color: rgb(204, 51, 0); text-decoration: none;">Spaulding National Running Center
  Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Biomechatronics Group
  Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Robot Locomotion Group
  Northeastern University - Neuromotor Systems Lab
  Northwestern University - Bayesian Behavior Lab
  Ohio State University - Movement Lab
  Queen's University - BioMotion Lab
  Queen's University - Human Mobility Research Lab
  Queen's University - LIMB Lab
  Royal Veterinary College - Structure & Motion Lab
  Simon Fraser University - Locomotion Lab
  Stanford University - BioMotion Lab
  Stanford University - Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab
  Technical University of Darmstadt - Locomotion Lab
  University of Calgary - Human Performance Lab
  University of California Berkeley - PolyPedal Lab
  University of Cambridge - Sensorimotor Learning Group
  University of Colorado Boulder - Locomotion Lab
  University of Delaware - Biomechanics & Movement Science Program
  University of Florida - Computational Biomechanics Lab
  University of Iowa - Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab
  University of Manchester - Animal Simulation Lab
  University of Maryland - Neuromechanics Lab
  University of Massachusetts Amherst - Biomechanics Lab
  University of Massachusetts Amherst - Locomotion Research Group
  University of Michigan - Human Biomechanics & Control Lab
  University of Southern California - Brain-Body Dynamics Lab
  University of Texas Austin - Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab
  University of Washington - Movement Control Lab
  University of Wisconsin Madison - Bone & Joint Biomechanics Lab
  University of Wisconsin Madison - Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab

Other Sites of Interest

  Biomch-L message board
  C-Motion, Inc. - creators of Visual3D software
  GaitSym - Bill Sellers' open source program for forward dynamics modeling
  The OpenSim Community at Stanford University
  Retraction Watch
  Russ Tedrake's course on Underactuated Robotics at MIT OpenCourseWare


NatureRx @ UMD is a new and burgeoning movement, represented by numerous individuals and units within the University of Maryland College Park community, who have come together with a shared passion for the many ways in which the landscape of our campus arboretum and other recreation spaces can heal and preserve the health and well-being of every person. Also recognized as healing spaces are the extensive network of trails throughout Maryland, as well as other natural areas within the Mid-Atlantic, including the Chesapeake Bay.

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What is NatureRX @ UMD? 

Born out of Park Rx America, “a non-profit organization whose mission is to decrease the burden of chronic disease, increase health and happiness, and foster environmental stewardship,” NatureRx @ UMD is based on the premise that time spent in nature is therapeutic and contributes to personal contentment. Physicians and other health care providers in a number of U.S. and Canadian cities have now introduced this Park Rx approach to treating patients with an array of conditions. Multiple research studies have concluded that allocating even a few hours each week in nature can improve mood, cognitive ability, alertness, ability to concentrate, social connection and overall sense of well-being. Everyone can benefit from spending time exploring the great natural beauty of the UMD campus. As such, NatureRx @ UMD will serve as a living laboratory for the greater UMD community of students, faculty and staff, to facilitate our ability to self-reflect, connect, serve and thrive.

Credit: Park Rx America

NatureRx @ UMD Leaders

Jennifer RobertsJennifer Roberts, MPH, Dr.Ph
Assistant Professor, Kinesiology
Faculty Associate, UMD Population Research Center and Prevention Research Center
Faculty Affiliate, Maryland Transportation Institute

Dr. Jennifer Roberts's research research has explored the dynamic relationship between environmental, social and cultural determinants of physical activity and using empirical evidence of this relationship to infer complex health outcome patterns.  Future and ongoing research, such as her Built Environment and Active Play (BEAP) and Purple Line Outcomes on Transportation (PLOT) Studies will incorporate state of the art techniques, such as spatial analysis and geographic information system modeling in order to objectively capture the role and relationship of these determinants on physical activity. Crosscutting issues including exposure (e.g. recreational deserts) and outcome (e.g. childhood obesity) health disparities will also be addressed in both her research and teaching.

Shannon Jette

Shannon Jette, MA, PhD
Associate Professor, Kinesiology

Dr. Shannon Jette’s research focuses on social, cultural, and historical aspects of knowledge production in the disciplines of kinesiology, medicine, and public health. She is particularly interested in studying exercise and fitness practices as technologies of health that have the potential to shape how we understand and experience our bodies. She uses a range of qualitative research methodologies (including media and discourse analysis, in-depth interviews, focus groups, ethnographic techniques) to examine: the production of knowledge about health and physical activity; how this knowledge has been (and is) put to use in the operation of power in differing socio-historical contexts; and how individuals negotiate various health-related messages.



NatureRx @ UMD Steering Committee Members

Denise Lorraine McHugh
Coordinator, UMD Memorial Chapel

Patrick Smith
Instructor, Qi Circles

Meg Smolinski
Coordinator, UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden Volunteers

Andrea L. Zukowski
Research Scientist, UMD Department of Linguistics

Ariana Sutton-Grier 
Associate Research Professor, UMD Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center

John Henderson
Executive Director, Park Rx America

Sarah Elaine Wilson
Coordinator of Health and Wellness, UMD

Amanda Mary Even 
UMD Recreation and Wellness

Brit Irene Saksvig 
Associate Research Professor, UMD School of public Health

Matthew Scribner 
Chief Technology Officer, Park Rx America


Upcoming Events

Coming soon!

Past Events

NatureRx @ UMD Launch Date Events​ | Earth Day - Monday, April 22, 2019

  1. RecWell Yoga Led by Tammy Lee
    Time: 8:00 am - 8:45 am
    Location: La Plata Turf
  1. Qi Gong Session Led by Patrick Smith
    Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
    Locaton: Garden of Reflection and Remembrance -  Labyrinth

"Qi Gong is a system of movement designed to cultivate and stimulate the flow of our vital life energy or “Qi.” Combining gentle movements with attention to our bodies and breath, Qi Gong induces a state of relaxation and focus. Qi Gong forms have been practiced in China for thousands of years and are a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine. Practicing outside in nature is preferred, provided weather conditions are suitable. This aspect of Qi Gong practice lends support to the intent of the University of Maryland’s Nature Rx program.

I personally came to practice Qi Gong as part of treatment for a repetitive use injury related to playing guitar. Tendonitis in my left wrist became so intense that I had to stop playing for months. During this time, I was introduced to acupuncture and eventually learned that my acupuncturist Dr. Nianzu Li also taught Qi Gong. Under his guidance, I began a practice that has sustained me for the past 20 years. Part of this journey was to enroll in a teacher training program. I have been teaching Qi Gong with my wife, Joann Malone, since 2012, in conjunction with the recreation department of the city of Takoma Park. I have also taught Qi Gong on Guitar Craft Courses, Mindfulness retreats, and have given private lessons." 

— Patrick Smith

  1. Volunteer Event
    Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
    Location: UMD Community Learning Garden
  2. Climb and Clean
    Time: 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    Location: Behind the Eppley Recreation Center

NatureRx @ UMD Post-Launch Date Event | Saturday, April 27, 2019

  1. ParkRun
    Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am
    Location: Acredale Community Park: 4200 Metzerott Road, College Park, MD 20740

    College Park parkrun is a free, timed 5K, offered every Saturday, year round, at 9:00 am. We welcome runners, joggers, walkers, people of all ages and abilities and even dogs (on a leash). Register just one time, print out your personal barcode, and then show up any Saturday: On April 27th, in honor of the recent kick-off of the Nature Rx @UMd program, we would be thrilled to welcome new participants from the UMD community, especially those who have not yet discovered the lovely Paint Branch Trail that runs from the back of the Varsity up to Cherry HIii. Come join us! 

NatureRX @ UMD Post-Launch Date Event | Sunday, April 28, 2019

  1. ParkRx Day – Wellness in the Woods
    Time: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
    Location: Watkins Regional Park: 301 Watkins Park Drive Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

    Wellness in the Woods is celebrated in honor of National Park Rx Day 
    National Park Rx Day is celebrated across the nation to promote the growing platform of prescribing parks to prevent and treat chronic disease and promote wellness.

    It's true that spending time in nature is good for you! Come out and see how the Department of Parks and Recreation is creating healthy communities with people, parks and programs. Come Zen with us! 


Jennifer Roberts

Phone: (301) 405-7748 

Shannon Jette

Phone: (301) 405-2497

In the News

Baltimore Sun: Winter brings new chances for a nature escape at Patuxent Research Refuge

In this article from the Baltimore Sun, Department of Kinesiology Assistant Professor Jennifer Roberts and Research Assistant Julie Maier are discuss winter activities at the Patuxent Research Refuge. Dr. Roberts said spending time outdoors can help strengthen an individual’s immune system, as well as boost stress management and improve self esteem. Mier explains the spiritual component of spending time in such beautiful places as a national park or wildlife refuge, “You can have this sense of awe, this sense that there’s something bigger than you,” she said.

Scientific Research

Prescribing Nature-Based Activity for People With Mental Illness

This study from Ms. Julie Maier and Dr. Shannon Jette, both from the Department of Kinesiology, provides a new avenue through which to look at how underserved populations (especially those with mental illnesses) could be served through the ‘Exercise is Medicine’ initiativea collaboration between the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association. The study highlights the mental health benefits of being in nature and draws attention to the issues of access to parks and nature for marginalized populations. 

ParkRx America has compliled substantial research on the therapeutic benefits of time spent in nature:

Hypertension Park Rx America Scientific Study Hypertension
English | Spanish
Brain Health Park Rx America Scientific Study Brain Health
English | Spanish
Obesity Park Rx America Scientific Study Obesity
English | Spanish
Physical Activity Park Rx America Scientific Study Physical Activity
English | Spanish
Minorities Park Rx America Scientific Study Minorities
English | Spanish

Neuromechanics Research Core

The UMD Neuromechanics Research Core studies neural and mechanical mechanisms of human movements in general. The current research focus includes locomotion in persons with lower extremity amputations and footwear, hand and multi-digit actions of people with neurological disorders, and sensory processing mechanisms. The Core is equipped for biomechanical and physiological testing and analysis for human movements such as 11 Kistler force platforms, 23 Vicon motion capture cameras, electromyography sensors, movement speed sensors, electromagnetic sensors, a Biodex dynamometer, portable and stationary metabolic units, miniature 6-D force/torque sensors, etc. in over 7,000 sq ft space. 

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Pictures & Links

Dec 16, 2018 Dissertation Defense Dion Cunningham, a doctoral student in School of Music co-advised and co-chaired by Dr. Shim, had a successful dissertation defense and became "Dr. Cunningham". Congrats!! 
April, 2018 Grant Drs. Shim, Miller, and Kwon with the help of our graduate students, Mia and Sara, receive grant funding from Korea Institue of Machinery and Materials (KIMM). The purpose of this proposed R&D effort is to investigate human-human interactions (IPMS) through motor tasks involving multiple co-working humans and apply the knowledge to physical human-robot collaboration (PHRC) control mechanisms. 
March 30, 2018 Presentation

Dr. Diane Damiano from National Institue of Health (NIH) presents at NRC Research Seminar. 

Title: Innovative Neurorehabilitation Approaches to Improve Gait in Children with Cerebral Palsy

2018, March New Member Dr. Serap Bastepe-Gray, MD, MM, OTR/L, CPAM joins NRC faculty. Her expertise comprises pain and playing related musculoskeletal and neurological upper extremity disorders that affect musical performers.
2018, Feb New Visiting Professor Dr. Moon Seok Park joins NRC as Visiting Clinical Professor from Seoul National University Bundang Hospital. Dr. Park is an orthopedic surgeon with expertise in cerebral palsy.  Image result for 박문석 교수
2017, Oct Grant Dr. Shim receives a research grant from Samsung Electronics.  Image result for samsung
2017Sept New Students

Jenna Burnett ,Mia Caminita, and Gina Garcia join the lab as graduate students!

2017, Sept

Liz Bell receives Edwin & Kathryn Arbogast Award from AOPA!

Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award was awarded for the best prosthetic abstract to her work entitled:
“A Mixed-Methods Examination of Limitations to Physical Activity as Reported by Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations”

2016, Dec Keynote

Dr. Shim has a keynote lecture at International Conference of Korean Society of Sport Biomechanics. Pusan, Korea. 

2016, Nov Grant

Dr. Shim receives a 3-year grant from National Research Foundation of Korea 

Title: Systematic investigation into hand functions for the development of evidence-based hand rehabilitation for stroke patients 

2016, Oct Grant

Dr. Klossner (UMD Associate Athletic Director, Sports Performance) along with Dr. Shim, and Dr. Miller receive a grant from NCAA 

Title: NCAA Soccer Periodization Study

2016, May Thesis Defense Congratulations to Ed Chu for successfully defending his Master's Thesis!
2016, Feb Grant

Drs. Miller and Shim receive a grant from Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program

Title: Biomechanical Evaluation of Milestone Pod

2016, May Travel Award Liz Bell recieves a Student Travel Award from the American Society of Biomechanics to present her work at the 2016 annual meeting in Raleigh, NC.  Congratulations Liz!
2015, September New Student Jessica Hunter joins the lab as a PhD student.
2015, September New Student Rana Krimpour joins the lab as a PhD student. Image result for rana karimpour umd
2015, August Job  Dr. Jaebum Park, Assistant Professor at Montana State University and a former graduate student from Neuromechanics Research Core, has accepted an Assistant Professor Position at Seoul National University, the #1 ranked college in Korea.  Congratulations Dr. Park! 박재범사진
2015, August New Grant Dr. Miller is awarded a new grant from the Department of Defense (The Henry M. Jackson Foundation) to support his work entitled "Evaluation of knee joint loading in Service Members with unilateral lower extremity trauma"
2015, July ISB Promising Young Scientist Award Dr. Miller becomes the winner of the 2015 International Society of Biomechanics Promising Young Scientist Award. He presents his work at the annual meeting in Glasgow, Scotland

2015, June New Grant Drs. Miller and Shim, in collaboration wth Dr. Klossner of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, are awarded a  Tier I Seed Grant for the project entitled "The Elite Athlete as a Model for the Impact of Mechanical Loading on Human Knee Joint Health"
2015, May Invited Speech Dr. Shim is invited to present at the Korean Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance in Seoul, Korea.
2015, April Travel Award Becky Krupenevich recieves a Student Travel Award from the American Society of Biomechanics to present her work at the 2015 annual meeting in Columbus, OH.
2015, March Invited Lecture Dr. Shim is invited to present at the International Research Forum on Biomechanics of Running-Specific Prosthesis in Tokyo, Japan.

2015, April Poster Presentation Award Congratulation to Dovin Kiernan for winning the Outstanding Academic Poster Award (First Place)! This award was given in recognition of outstanding presentation of innovative public health research and scholarship by a student at UMD's annual Public Health Research Day.

2015, April Scholarship Award Congratulations to Dovin Kiernan for receiving the Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS-D) from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for $105,000! The CGS-D is awarded to top-ranked applicants based on academic excellence, research potential, communication skills, and interpersonal and leadership abilities.

2014, October Admission to PT Program Undergraduate, Kevin Levi-Goerlich, is accepted into two Physical Therapy programs and commits to University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
2014, September Tenure Track Position Ph.D. Graduate, Brian Baum, receives a tenure track position at Regis University, School of Physical Therapy.
2014, August New Graduate Student Becky Krupenevich joins the lab as a Ph.D. student.
2014, August New Graduate Student Kelsey Christensen joins the lab as a Masters student.
2013, August Grant The Effects of Post-Exercise Recovery Drinks on Muscular Strength and Endurance
2013, August New graduate student Edward Chu joins the lab as a Master's student
2013, June Return Dr. Shim comes back from a year long sabbatical.
2013, March New graduate student Dovin Kiernan joins the lab as a Master's student.
2013, June National Research Foundation Systematic investigation into hand functions for the development of evidence-based hand rehabilitation for stroke patients
2012, August Grant Translation of kinesiology in preventive medicine II. $300,000
2012, July Grant

Dr. Shim receives an NIH grant.

A new biomechanical model to examine joint control adaptations during running in individuals with lower extremity amputations. R03 Award.

2012, May Graduation Graduation: Drs. Sohit Karol, Brian Baum, and Junfeng Huang
2011, August MIPS Award Translation of kinesiology in preventive medicine I. $514,100
April 16
Lab Outing NML members had a great time in Bethesda
April 15
Wylie Dissertation Fellowship Sohit Karol, NML PhD student, received a prestigious Wylie Dissertation Fellowship from the University Graduate School. Sohit studies interactions of sensory feedbacks in motor performance
April 15
Wylie Dissertation Fellowship Brian Baum, NML PhD student, received a prestigious Wylie Dissertation Fellowship from the University Graduate School. Brian studies biomechanics of amputee running
2010, December Equipment Purchase Grant NML receives $90K from the three sources of UMD: UMD Division Research, School of Public Health, and Department of Kinesiology for multiple forceplates and portable gas analyzer purchase.
2010, December MIPS Award For the collaborative research with Under Armour, NML (Dr. Sraswat and Dr. Shim) received Maryland Industrial Partnerships Award. Total research budget is $689K.
2010, November Lab Outing Neuromechanics Lab had dinner at Garam Korean Restaurant
2010, November Dr. Jaebum Park returns for a talk Dr. Jaebum Park, 2009 PhD graduate from Neuromechanics Lab, returns for a talk on his recent publication: Optimality vs. Variability
2010, June 28th AAPI Convention Dr. Shim attended American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) Convention in Washington, DC (pic with Majority Leader of US Congress, Mr. Hoyer, and President of Recovery Science, Mr. Shah)
2010, May 26th Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference Neuromechanics Lab group went to Southern Biomedical Engineering Conference. Dr. Shim chaired Neuromechanics & Rehab Session. Brian, Sohit, and Jaebum had presentations.
2010, April Distinguished Teaching Assistant Sohit Karol, PhD student, was selected as a 2009-1010 Distinguished Teaching Assistant from KNES Department.

2010, April Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship Brain Baum, PhD student, was awarded a Graduate Student Summer Research Fellowship from UMD Graduate School ($5K).
2010, Feb Snow Storm The University and the Lab were closed more than a week because of snow storms.
2010, Feb MIPS Award NML received Maryland Industrial Partnerships Award ($300K).
2010, Feb Dr. Yoon Leaves Dr. Bumchul Yoon, left after a year of Visiting Professorship at NML
2010, Jan Dr. Shim's Talk at KAIST Dr. Shim had a seminar on CNS control over multi-effector systems in humans at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST)
2009, Jan Kyung Hee International Scholar Dr. Shim received Kyung Hee International Scholar Award with his appointment at College of Engineering, Kyung Hee Univeristy
2009, Jan Dr. Shim's Week-long Seminar Dr. Shim had a week-long seminar at Kyung Hee University, Korea, Dr. Shim's undergradaute school
2009, Dec Experiments at Korea University (KU) Drs. Shim and Kim traveled to Korea for a series of invasive experiments at Korea University in collaboration with KU Physical Therapy and Medical Center
2009, Dec Dr. Jaebum Park Mr. Jaebum Park became Dr. Jaebum Park. Dr. Park is the first PhD from Neuromechanics Lab. He is current a Postdoc at Penn State.
2009, Dec Jeffrey Hsu Jeff Hsu received his Master's degree
2009, Nov MOU with Korea University (KU) Neuromechanics Lab arranged Memorandum of Understanding between UMD School of Public Health and KU College of Health Science
2009, Sept Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Award Jaebum, NML PhD student, received Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Award from the UMD Graduate School ($10K)
2009. Aug ASB Young Scientist Award Dr. Shim received ASB's Young Scientist Award at 2009 ASB Meeting at Penn State.
2009. July ISB Promising Young Scientist Award Dr. Shim received ISB's Promising Young Scientist Award at 2009 ISB Congress in Cape Town.
2009, July 2009 ISB Congress We participated in 2009 ISB Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.
2009, Sept DOD Award NML received Department of Defense Research Award ($200K).
2009, Feb MIPS Award NML received Maryland Industrial Partnerships Award ($2M).
2009, May Lab photos We took pictures of current NML members.
2009, May Lab visit Two retired soldiers with leg amputations visited NML and had a talk on their experiences at Dr. Shim's Biomechanics class.
2009, May


Jacob Goldharber Travel Award
Jeff, NML Masters student, received Jacob K. Goldharber Travel Award from UMD to attend Progress in Motor Control Meeting in France ($1K).
2009, March Dr. Jongkook Song's visit Dr. Song from Kyung Hee University visited NML.
2008, Nov Mr. Brian Frasure's visit Brian, the Paralympian with multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals visited NML for our amputee locomotion research.
2008, Sep Dr. Woosub Kim visit Dr. Kim visited NML and we went to our collaborator, Water Reed Army Medical Center for a tour.
2008, Sep Sohit Karol, Alex Hooke, James Lieu graduate Masters students, Sohit, Alex, and James graduated from NML.
2008, Aug F. Daniel Wagner Memorial Award for Outstanding Physical Activity Teaching Assistant Alex, NML Masters student, received F. Daniel Wagner Memorial Award for Outstanding Physical Activity Teaching Assistant from Kinesiology Department
2008, Aug Drs. Changsoo Yang and Beeoh Lim visit Drs. Yang and Lim from Korea visited NML and had a couple of beer.
2008, Aug Yonghyun Park from Seoul National University visit Younghyun, an exchange student from Seoul National University visited NML. We had a party at Dr. Shim's.
2008, Aug 2007 Progress in Motor Control We participated in 2007 ISMC meeting in Santos, Brazil.
2008, July Dr. Shim's Keynote at ISBS Dr. Shim delivered an invited lecture at ISBS, Korea. The picture was taken with a Taekwondo demonstration team from Kyung Hee University, Dr. Shim's UG school.
2008, June Graduate Summer Student Research Fellowship Jaebum, NML PhD student, received Graduate Summer Student Research Fellowship from UMD Graduate School ($5K)
2008, March Visiting Professor, Dr. Chulsoon Choi Dr. Kim from Kwangwoon University joined NML as a Visiting Professor for a year.
2008, May GRIP Award Sohit, NML Masters student, received Graduate Research Initiative Project Award from UMD Kinesiology ($2.5K)
2008, Feb MIPS Award NML received Maryland Industrial Partnerships Award ($300K: Phase II).
2008, Feb GRIP Award Alex, NML Masters student, received Graduate Research Initiative Project Award from UMD Kinesiology ($2.5K)
2008, Feb GRIP Award Jeff, NML Masters student, received Graduate Research Initiative Project Award from UMD Kinesiology ($2.5K)
2008, Feb GRIP Award Jaebum, NML PhD student, received Graduate Research Initiative Project Award from UMD Kinesiology ($2.5K)
2008, Jan Postdoctoral Fellowship Dr. You-Sin Kim, postdoc at NML, received a Tae-Do Academic & Cultural Foundation Fellowship ($17K)
2007, July 2007 ISB Congress We participated in 2007 ISB Congress in Taipei, Taiwan. The picture has Dr. Shim's Masters and PhD advisors, Dr. Kwon and Dr. Zatsiorsky.
2007, June Howard Hughes Medical Institute Travel Award Jeff Hsu, NML UG research assistant, received Howard Hughes Medical Institute Conference Travel Award ($1K)
2007, March 2007 NEASB Conference NML organized the first Northeast American Society of Biomechanics (NEASB) Conference UMD.
2007, March ISB Travel Award Sohit, NML Masters student, received International Society of Biomechanics Travel Award ($1K) for his travel to World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany.
2007, March ISB Travel Award Jaebum, NML PhD student, received International Society of Biomechanics Travel Award ($1K) for his travel to World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany.
2007, March Visiting Professor, Dr. Chang Kook Kim Dr. Chang Kook Kim from Korea University joined NML as a Visiting Professor for a year.
2007, March Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship Jeff Hsu, NML UG research assistant, received Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellowship ($2.7K)
2007, March ASB Conference Organization Award NML received a local conference organization grants from ASB and industry ($10K).
2007, Feb MIPS Award NML received Maryland Industrial Partnerships Award ($300K).
2006, July 2006 WCB We participated in 2006 World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany. The picture was taken at the Munich Science Museum.
2006, June CK's Lab Visit NML members visited Dr. Christopher Knight's Lab at University of Delaware.
2006, May Senior Summer Scholars Award Jeff Hsu, NML UG research assistant, received Senior Summer Scholars Award from UMD
2006, April UMD Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Award Jeff Hsu, NML UG research assistant, received Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Award from UMD
2006, July KRF Award NML received Korea Research Foundation Award ($100K).
2006, July DHS Award NML received Department of Homeland Security Award ($915K).
2006, June GRB Award Dr. Shim received General Research Board (GRB) Research Award from University of Maryland ($9K)
2006, May Jacob Goldharber Travel Award Jaebum, NML PhD student, received Jacob K. Goldharber Travel Award from UMD to attend World Congress of Biomechanics in Munich, Germany ($1K).
2005, Sept Clark Fellowship Junfeng, NML PhD student, received Clark Fellowship from Department of Kinesiology for two years of financial support during his PhD study at NML.
2005, Aug 2005 ISB/ASB Meeting We participated in 2005 ISB/ASB joint conference in Cleveland. Picture was taken at the Cleveland Clinic.

Faculty and Staff

Jae Kun Shim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

Deptartment of Kinesiology
Maryland Robotics Center
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science Program (NACS)
Background: Kinesiology, Biomechanics, Computer Science, Engineering

Ross H. Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanics

Tim Kiemel, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Mathematics

Hyun Joon Kwon, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Mechanical Engineering, Biomechanics

Joanne Klossner

Joanne Klossner, PhD, ATC

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Athletic Training, Sports Medicine
Serap Bastepe-Gray, MD, MM, OTR/L, CPAM
Assistatnt Research Professor

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Medicine, Occupational Health and Injury Prevention, Musician's Health

Kurt Collier, CP
Prosthetics Instructor

Department of Kinesiology
Background: Prosthetics


Visiting Professors

Kyung Soo Kim, PhD
Visiting Professor
Kyung Hee University, South Korea

Background: Applied Mathematics


Post-Doctoral Researchers



Graduate Students

Rana Karimpour, M.S.
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology 

Background:Sports Sciences and Biomedical Engineering, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland

Edward Chu, M.S.
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology 

Background: Kinesiology, University of Maryland

Jessica Hunter, M.S. 
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology

Background: Biomechanics and Injury Prevention, Barry University

Shakiba Rafiee
Ph.D. Student, NACS

Background: Neuroscience and Cognitive Science, University of Maryland


Jenna Burnett
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology

Background: Physics and Math, Purdue University; Kinesiology, Iowa State Univeristy

Mia Caminita
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology

Background: Industrial and Operational Engineering, Movement Science, University of Michigan


Liz Bell, M.S. 
Ph.D. Student, Kinesiology

Lab Manager 
Background: Mechanical Engineering, University of Denver


Sara Honarvar, B.S.
Masters Student, Kinesiology
Background: Biomechanics/Biomedical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran

Gina Garcia, B.A
Masters Student, Kinesiology
Background: Exercise and Sport Science, Neuroscience , University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Oren Lagziel,
Masters Student, Kinesiology
Background: Bioengineering, University of Maryland

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Research Assistants

Alyssa Ruefenacht
Major: Kinesiology
Chayce Wong
Major: Mechanical Engineering