UK Sports Medicine Research Institute

Prevention, Performance, Treatment, and Rehabilitation: Powered by Science


The UK Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI) is a state-of-the-art multidisciplinary research center focused on four domains of prevention, performance, treatment, and rehabilitation, and specializing in musculoskeletal, neurobehavioral, and physiological/metabolic health.



The mission of the SMRI is to achieve optimal health through research, performance and wellness services, and community outreach by improving the health and wellness of citizens of the Commonwealth, athletes, tactical athletes, and physically active individuals suffering from orthopaedic and non-orthopaedic injuries.


Research focusing on athletes, military personnel, and physically active individuals across age and physical activity spectrums, SMRI explores strategies to minimize injury risk, optimize physical performance, and improve treatment and rehabilitation techniques. Test models include those specific to musculoskeletal injury risk mitigation and treatment, performance and therapeutic nutrition, fatigue, sleep and stress, concussion diagnosis and rehabilitation, healthy aging, and women’s health.       

For over 25 years, faculty from the Sports Medicine Research Institute has: 

  • Studied the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal injuries
  • Developed an extensive research agenda focusing on:
    • Proprioception and neuromuscular control in joint stability
    • The role of capsuloligamentous structures in the pathoetiology of joint injury
    • Comprehensive profiles of an individual's function and risk by evaluating both the sensory and motor characteristics specific to musculoskeletal injury and pathology
    • Biomechanical and neuromuscular assessments under sports-simulated environments
    • The effects of injury, surgery, and rehabilitation on joint stability and function
    • Characterizing the physical and physiological demand of sport and military tasks
    • Identification of deficiencies in body mechanics and muscle function
    • Develop programs to improve performance and minimize potential for injury
  • Secured over $50M in funded research from sources which include, the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NFL Charities Foundation, and serval other foundations.
  • Delivered over 20 keynote lectures at professional events round the world
  • Published over 200 Peer-reviewed manuscripts
  • Delivered more than 350 national and international presentations

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Contact Us (Map Below)

720 Sports Center Drive
Lexington, KY 40506
P: 859.323.9850
F: 859.218.7485

SMRI Personnel

Sports Medicine Research Institute

Scott Lephart, PhDDean, Professor, Endowed Chair of Orthopaedic Research (University of Kentucky)
John Abt, PhD, ATC, FACSMAssociate Professor, Director, Sports Medicine Research Institute
Meaghan Beck, MPAAssociate Director for Operations
Nick Heebner, PhD, ATCAssistant Professor, Associate Director for Research, Sports Medicine Research Institute
Stuart Best, Ph.D.Assistant Professor
Amanda Glueck, PhDAssistant Professor
Shakiyla DavisAdministrative Associate, Alumna (Class of 2017)
Joshua Winters, PhD, CSCSAssistant Professor
Kathy Poploski, PT, DPTAssistant Professor
Scott Royer, MS, ACSM EP-CAssistant Professor
Alexa JohnsonDoctoral Student
Kelsey Picha, MS, ATCDoctoral Student
Carolina QuintanaDoctoral Student
Reiley BerginDoctoral Student
Abdulaziz AlameerDoctoral Student