Skip to main content

Darin Padua, PhD, ATC

Professor & Chair, Department of Exercise & Sport Science
Adjunct Professor, Department of Orthopaedics;
Biomedical Engineering; Allied Health Sciences
Associate Director, MOTION Science Institute

Department of Exercise and Sport Science
204 Fetzer Hall CB# 8700
University of North Carolina
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Twitter:  @DarinPadua



Dr. Darin Padua is a Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and Director of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory.  He is an adjunct faculty member in the following Departments at UNC: Orthopaedics, Biomedical Engineering, and Allied Health Sciences.  Dr. Padua also serves as Affiliate Faculty at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, where he provides expertise in innovative research methods in the field of injury prevention.

Dr. Padua received his B.A. and M.A. degrees in Athletic Training from San Diego State University (1996) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1998), respectively.  He earned his PhD in Sports Medicine from the University of Virginia in 2001.

His primary research interests focus on understanding factors that influence knee stability, identification of risk factors associated with knee injury, identification of evidence based prevention strategies for knee injury, and validation of performance enhancement training techniques. Current research includes investigating predictive factors for ACL injury, biomechanical comparison of ACL injury prevention interventions, examination of modifiable neuromuscular factors that contribute to movement impairments, validation of clinical movement assessment techniques to predict muscle imbalances and injury risk, and validation of corrective exercises commonly used for injury prevention and performance enhancement.

A noted researcher, Dr. Padua has over published over 85 research articles in the top scientific journals and given over 200 presentations both nationally and internationally.  His research efforts have been funded by organizations such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), United States Department of Defense’s, and National Academy of Sports Medicine.  He was awarded the National Athletic Training Association’s New Investigator Award in 2006.  He was the senior author on a manuscript that was awarded the O’Donoghue Sports Injury Research Award by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in 2008.  In 2011 he was honored as the Robert J. Moore Athletic Training Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient from San Diego State University.  In 2013 he was inducted as a Fellow into the National Academy of Kinesiology. In 2017, Darin was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research by the Research and Education Foundation of the NATA.