Written by Lisa Cassis, PhD, UK vice president for research.
The new UK Sports Medicine Research Institute, or SMRI, is a state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary facility that will allow UK researchers to study injury prevention and performance for professional and collegiate athletes, the tactical athletes of the U.S. military, and physically active people of all ages.
Watch the video below for an inside look at the equipment and technology that makes the SMRI such a unique and exciting endeavor.
The 10,000-square-foot facility, part of the UK Nutter Training Facility on campus, is spearheaded by the UK College of Health Sciences and is supported in part by a $4.2 million Department of Defense grant.
The SMRI is outfitted with sophisticated equipment to assess biomechanical, physiological, musculoskeletal and neurobehavioral health and is supported by a team of eight core faculty, staff and research assistants as well as 40 affiliate faculty.
A biomechanics laboratory conducts motion analysis studies using 14 cameras and a dual-force plate system in the floor, like the technology used to make video games and animated movies. Equipment shaped like a horse simulates realistic movement for jockeys and other equestrians.
A neurobehavioral lab uses virtual reality to assess visual acuity, reaction times and balance, which are critical measurements for concussion recovery. Other equipment is designed to measure oxygen consumption, workload and metabolic costs, physiological stress, and the influence of sleep deprivation and fatigue, all of which are important contributors to musculoskeletal strength, endurance, operational performance and injury risk.
The different branches of UK’s mission – education, research, service and care – converge in the work of the SMRI, and we look forward to the discoveries that will come out of this UK institute.
- The SMRI was founded by Dr. Scott Lephart, dean of the UK College of Health Sciences. Learn more about Dr. Lephart’s vision for the SMRI.
- UK HealthCare is using the power of advanced medicine to improve healthcare for all Kentuckians. Learn more.