: The applicant is an Assistant Professor in the University Of Florida Department Of Physical Therapy. She has a Master's degree in Physical Therapy and a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and Movement Sciences. Her goal is to become an independent investigator focused on designing and implementing multidisciplinary clinical and translational investigations to maximize functional outcome and reduce the risk for post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA) in persons with knee injury. Through this K01 award, the applicant will gain skills in conducting clinical trials, assessing articular cartilage morphology with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and performing biochemical analysis of articular cartilage and inflammation biomarkers to become uniquely cross-trained and able to undertake a comprehensive approach to studying knee rehabilitation. Her co-mentors, Dr. Vandenborne and Dr. Leeuwenburgh, will help her transition from junior faculty to independent investigator through rigorous mentorship and practical training, didactic course work, and participation in seminars and conferences. The Primary Aim of the research plan is to determine the effect of intensive quadriceps strengthening on functional outcome and articular cartilage structure after meniscectomy. The Secondary Aim is to examine the association of post-meniscectomy quadriceps strength deficits with lower extremity loading symmetry and the extent of knee inflammation. After baseline testing, 54 subjects with a meniscectomy will be randomly assigned to a 6-week standard rehabilitation program or standard rehabilitation augmented with intensive quadriceps strengthening (high-intensity neuromuscular electrical stimulation and eccentric exercise). Subjects will be re-assessed 7 weeks and 1 year after treatment group assignment. Groups will be compared for differences in self-reported knee function, and in percent loss of tibial cartilage volume on MRI scans from baseline to 1 year. Quadriceps strength deficits will be correlated with peak vertical ground reaction force symmetry during functional activities, and with levels of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-alpha and IL-1beta) in synovial fluid. The career development plan and supervised research experiences will provide the candidate with the necessary research skills for a career as an independent research investigator and fill an important research gap. UF provides an excellent training environment with state-of-the-art facilities and a large number of faculties with an expertise in rehabilitation research.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DSR-K (TC))
Program Officer
Shinowara, Nancy
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University of Florida
Other Health Professions
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Dubose, Dominique F; Herman, Daniel C; Jones, Deborah L et al. (2017) Lower Extremity Stiffness Changes after Concussion in Collegiate Football Players. Med Sci Sports Exerc 49:167-172
Chmielewski, Terese L; George, Steven Z; Tillman, Susan M et al. (2016) Low- Versus High-Intensity Plyometric Exercise During Rehabilitation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. Am J Sports Med 44:609-17
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George, Steven Z; Lentz, Trevor A; Zeppieri, Giorgio et al. (2012) Analysis of shortened versions of the tampa scale for kinesiophobia and pain catastrophizing scale for patients after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Clin J Pain 28:73-80
Lentz, Trevor A; Zeppieri Jr, Giorgio; Tillman, Susan M et al. (2012) Return to preinjury sports participation following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: contributions of demographic, knee impairment, and self-report measures. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 42:893-901
Chmielewski, T L; Trumble, T N; Joseph, A-M et al. (2012) Urinary CTX-II concentrations are elevated and associated with knee pain and function in subjects with ACL reconstruction. Osteoarthritis Cartilage 20:1294-301
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