HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 17, 2012 – High Point University is providing an academic boost to the School of Health Sciences by creating advanced biomechanics and human physiology/performance laboratories, which will be temporarily housed in the space formerly occupied by Circuit City at Oak Hollow Mall.
The 13,150 square feet of lab space is under construction and will house sophisticated research equipment to be utilized by students studying a variety of fields including physical therapy, exercise science, athletic training, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics and more. Students will study injury prevention and rehabilitation methods in the lab, as well as methods to improve human physiologic response to activity and overall physical performance.
The labs will be staffed on a daily basis by six faculty members from the Department of Physical Therapy – faculty who are known nationally and internationally for their work in sports, orthopedic physical therapy, injury prevention and athletic performance. Dr. Kevin Ford joined HPU this summer as assistant professor of physical therapy and will serve as the director of the lab.
While the labs will primarily be used and facilitated by the Department of Physical Therapy, it will give students in all health and science-related majors new opportunities, according to Dr. Daniel Erb, dean of the School of Health Sciences.
“This lab space will allow HPU students to collaborate with faculty and contribute new research to the health sciences field,” says Erb. “It will also enable physical therapy and other faculty to continue their cutting edge research, obtain additional research funding and thereby improve the quality of life of those in the Triad.”
“We chose to build these labs in temporary space because we know they will be an immediate benefit to our School of Health Sciences, which will have a permanent facility in the future,” says Dr. Dennis Carroll, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs.
The research equipment slated to be used in the labs includes:
-24 cameras with high-speed, 3D motion analysis capabilities. This camera system will document and allow review and analysis of human movements with an aerial view and profile treadmill views;
-An advanced in-shoe load distribution measurement system with wireless sensors embedded into compliant insoles to aid in cleat and shoe design;
-A special environmental chamber used to study the body’s response to temperature extremes, high altitude and air pollution;
-A DEXA scanner (also known as a “bone scanner”) will be available to evaluate bone health and provides the latest technology in measuring body fat and muscle mass; and
-A host of medical equipment will be used to analyze breathing, blood flow, and muscle function during exercise including VO2 max and lactate threshold.
“Our faculty are nationally and internationally recognized. We have already received requests from other universities, both in and outside the United States, requesting to collaborate with our faculty and use the biomechanics and human physiology/performance laboratories for translational research studies,” says Erb. “The equipment used to conduct this research will be the best of its kind.”
The labs will also be used in the future by the developing physical therapy and physician’s assistant studies graduate programs.
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