Blackburn Lab Group
Troy Blackburn, Ph.D, ATC
Assistant Chair and Professor, Exercise and Sport Science
Associate Director, MOTION Science Institute
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research College of Arts and Science
Dr. Blackburn’s research is focused on neuromuscular and biomechanical contributors to orthopaedic injury and disease, particularly knee pathologies. His current research efforts are aimed at understanding neuromechanical factors that influence the risk of developing post-traumatic knee osteoarthritis following ACL injury and novel rehabilitation approaches for reducing this risk.
B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.S. University of Pittsburgh
Ph.D University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Awards and Honors:
Fellow, American College of Sports Medicine (2020)
Fellow, National Athletic Trainers’ Association (2020)
National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research & Education Foundation Freddie H. Fu New Investigator Award (2009)
National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research & Education Foundation David H. Perrin Doctoral Dissertation Award (2007)
Derek Dewig, MA, ATC
Derek Dewig completed his MA in Athletic Training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (’16) and his BS in Athletic Training at Indiana University in Bloomington (’14). Prior to returning to Chapel Hill, Derek held the role of staff athletic trainer for the track and field and cross country teams at Indiana University. Working under the direction of Dr. Troy Blackburn, his research seeks to identify biomechanical and neuromuscular consequences following ACL injury and their association with posttraumatic knee osteoarthritis. Additionally, his research focuses on the use of vibration therapy following ACL reconstruction to mitigate quadriceps dysfunction, improve corticomotor excitability and gait biomechanics in efforts to improve long-term joint health and reduce the risk of secondary ACL injury.
B.S. Indiana University
M.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Noor Agha ‘21
Noor Agha is a senior undergraduate student majoring in EXSS and minoring in neuroscience and is on the pre-PA track. Noor is a Palestinian-American and enjoys advocating for human rights, running, and traveling in her free time.
Ruhi Dholakia ‘20
Ruhi Dholakia is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Neuroscience. Ruhi enjoys hiking and playing tennis, as well as cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Karly Dreyer ‘21
Karly Dreyer is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and minoring in Spanish for the Professions. Karly enjoys running, baking, and hanging out with friends in her free time.
Chad Kovacs ‘21
Chad is a senior undergraduate student double majoring in Biology and Exercise and Sports Science, with a Health in Society minor. Throughout his childhood and up to college Chad has competed in over 9 different sports.
Hallie Mills ‘21
Hallie Mills is a senior undergraduate student majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and minoring in Neuroscience and Biology. Hallie enjoys baking, playing tennis, and paddle boarding at Atlantic Beach, NC!
Kelisa Wardell ‘22
Kelisa is a junior undergraduate student double majoring in Exercise and Sports Science and Biology. Kelisa enjoys playing soccer and basketball in her free time.
Lab Group Alumni
Marc Norcross, PhD, ATC (2011), Associate Professor, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University.
Derek Pamukoff, PhD, ATC (2015), Assistant Professor, School of Kinesiology, Western University.
FJ Goodwin, PhD, DPT (2018), Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy Education, Elon University.
Chris Johnston, PhD, ATC (2020), Assistant Professor, Department of Athletic Training, High Point University.
Current Grant Funding & Research Projects
Effects of whole body vibration on quadriceps function, gait biomechanics, and performance in individuals with ACL injuries
Femoral cartilage resilience in individuals with ACLR and healthy controls
Comparison of overground and treadmill gait biomechanics in individuals with ACLR
A comparison of somatosensory function and dynamic balance between individuals with and without a history of concussion