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CPH Research Laboratories

Adaptations to Repetitive Motion and Stress (ARMS) Laboratory

Director: Stephen Thomas, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

A large number of individuals in the United States suffer from diseases related to inactivity. Regular physical activity has been shown to reverse many of these conditions. Therefore, performing regular physical activity is recommended for all individuals. Unfortunately, repetitive physical activity and sports have the potential to increase the risk of musculoskeletal conditions. Due to this, it is important to identify the biomechanical, neuromuscular, and tissue adaptations that occur during repetitive activities. By identifying these adaptations and the mechanisms associated with them, we can develop optimal training guidelines to prevent overuse injuries. Our lab uses a variety of methodologies to identify specific adaptations. We often integrate clinical methodologies into our research to create a more fluid transfer of our results to the clinician. Our methods include motion capture, electromyography, muscular strength, range of motion, joint stiffness, and tissue architecture using diagnostic ultrasound. Our populations often include athletes and patients with chronic rotator cuff tears. 

Behavioral and Cancer Epidemiology Research Program

Website: cph.temple.edu/epibio/research/behavioral-and-cancer-epidemiology

Director: Resa Jones, PhD
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The behavioral and cancer epidemiology research program in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics is focused on examining the behavioral and biological determinants of cancer in the general and underserved populations. This research has three areas of emphasis: (1) assessing the predictors and barriers of colorectal cancer screening and developing interventions to increase screening behavior; (2) determining the role of social determinants, socio-economics and health disparities in cancer-related outcomes using spatial epidemiology; and (3) developing and evaluating group and individually randomized health promotion interventions. Active interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty from institutions across the U.S. contribute to this effort, as well as community-based partners.

Biomechanical Assessment for Movement and Rehabilitation (BAMR) Laboratory

Director: Richard Lauer, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

A state of the art laboratory focuses on the development of novel assessments and interventions addressing the neuromuscular basis of balance and movement. Current projects examine gait and postural dysfunction in adults and pediatrics with neurological injuries such as spinal cord injury (SCI) and cerebral palsy (CP). Additional resources are devoted to develop interventions and technologies to address the needs of these populations. Applications include advanced signal processing techniques applied to biomechanics and electromyography data, and the use of accelerometers and motion capture system to quantify human movement in natural environments. Equipment includes a Trigno wireless EMG recording system, 7 laptops and personal computers tablets with MATLAB, a six-camera motion capture system.

BAMR Laboratory is not accepting new students at this time.

Biostatistics Core

Website: cph.temple.edu/epibio/research/biostatistics-support-center

Director: Levent Dumenci, PhD
Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The Biostatistics Core offers comprehensive statistical consultation and computational services to faculty, staff, and students in the College of Public Health and throughout Temple University as well as faculty and researchers in other institutions, agencies, and companies.

Biostatistics Core personnel are available for discussion at all stages of research, including preparation of grants and contracts, assistance in analyzing and presenting research data, and statistical review of manuscripts in the publication process.

The Biostatistics Core has access to a broad range of computer hardware, software and personnel with expertise in using major statistical, epidemiological, graphics, and data management packages. While our primary interest is in assuring appropriate use of statistical methodology in research, the Biostatistics Core offers a complete range of services from database development and implementation to production of publication quality graphic and tabular material to support the presentation and publication of research results. Obtaining biostatistical advice early on in a project can often improve the chances of the study meeting its objectives.

Concepts & Cognition Laboratory

Website: reilly-coglab.com

Director: Jamie Reilly, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Concepts & Cognition Laboratory consists of a group of cognitive scientists, neurorehabilitation clinicians, and students who share a common interest in semantic memory. The group is dedicated both to basic and clinical translational research—applying what we know about language processing to improve communication for people with neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's Disease and Primary Progressive Aphasia (PPA). The team uses numerous experimental modalities including eye tracking, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), psycholinguistic reaction time tasks, and neuroimaging. The laboratory is located within the Eleanor M. Saffran Center for Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Health Behavior Research Clinic 

Website: cph.temple.edu/health-behavior-research-clinic-hbrc

Director: Bradley Collins, PhD
Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Health Behavior Research Clinic conducts community-based and laboratory-based research addressing addictive behaviors, tobacco dependence and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g. physical activity). Much of this work has targeted low-income, racial minority, and medically-underserved communities, and has involved transdisciplinary teams of researchers, clinicians, and community agencies to address some of the most challenging public health issues in these vulnerable, high-risk populations. The research team also examines factors that influence health behavior change at the individual, family, and community levels to guide current multilevel intervention approaches with parental smokers to reduce children’s exposure to tobacco smoke and promote parents’ smoking cessation.

Health Disparities Research Laboratory

Director: Heather Gardiner (Traino), PhD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Health Disparities Research Lab conducts research at the intersections of interpersonal health communication, chronic kidney disease, and organ donation and transplantation. Current work includes the development and assessment of an educational and communication skills intervention for patients with end stage renal disease who are awaiting kidney transplantation. The research team also partners with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger to evaluate an ongoing effort to bring healthy food options to local food pantries, and has begun a line of research investigating the relationship between food insecurity and medical nutritional management of Type 2 diabetes, a leading cause of chronic kidney disease. The most recent project is Promotoras de Donacion: Leveraging Lay Health Educators to Increase Donor Registration in Older Hispanic Women. This project collects the formative data needed to design an educational and behavioral communication eLearning module for Promotoras (Hispanic lay health educators) and test the impact of the training on Promotoras’ knowledge of organ donation, confidence discussing and promoting donor registration, and efficacy increasing rates of donor registration among mature and older Hispanic women.

Human Abilities in Bilingual Language Acquisition (HABLA) Laboratory 

Website: hablalab.wordpress.com

Director: Lisa Bedore, PhD
Chair and Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Human Abilities in Bilingual Language Acquisition (HABLA) Laboratory is housed in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Temple University as well as in the School of Education at the University of California, Irvine. The HABLA lab focuses on understanding how bilingual individuals organize and access their two language systems. Ultimately, the goal of this inquiry is to better understand the nature of language breakdowns associated to language impairment.

Implementation Sciences Laboratory

Director: Omar Martinez, JD
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work

The Implementation Sciences Laboratory (ISL) focuses on research to enhance the development, uptake, effectiveness and efficiency of evidence-based interventions and policies within clinical and community settings in order to improve population health and reduce health disparities. Intervention activities involve actively facilitating, participating in, or leading informed evidence-based practices within Temple University and beyond. Current research projects include the development and testing of biobehavioral HIV prevention and treatment interventions to improve HIV care continuum outcomes; implementation of mixed-method approaches to understand psychosocial and environmental conditions leading to poor health outcomes, including childhood sexual abuse and anti-immigration policies; use of structural interventions to address social determinants of health among vulnerable populations, including sexual and gender minorities and individuals living with HIV; evaluation of public health and social service programs, including locally developed home-grown HIV prevention programs; and dissemination of evidence-based practices through community-based participatory action research approaches.

Motion-Action-Perception Laboratory

Website: sites.google.com/temple.edu/maplab

Director: W. Geoffrey Wright, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

The Motion-Action-Perception (MAP) Laboratory focuses on how one's senses and perceptions guide one's actions. More specifically (and in scientific terms), we study how sensorimotor, perceptual, and psychological influences control human movement. The human nervous system uses highly complex and extremely sensitive processes to help a human stand, walk, and reach for and hold objects. Any damage or disease to the nervous system can affect how well these processes work and in turn how well a person can move. Clinical populations such as Parkinson’s disease, TBI, PTSD, and various sensorimotor disorders are some of the diseases and injuries that we investigate. One approach to solving these problems involves the use and development of advanced technologies including virtual reality goggles and smart phone applications to find portable and economically accessible solutions to investigating the human nervous system. The lab is also equipped with cutting-edge research-grade equipment such as motion capture cameras for studying body movements, electro-oculography for studying eye movements, force plates for studying balance, electromyography equipment for studying muscle activity, and MRI for studying brain activity. The main goal of our research is to accurately detect sensory, motor and cognitive impairments, treat these impairments, and help individuals lead healthy independent lives.

Personal Health Informatics and Rehabilitation Engineering (PHIRE) Laboratory

Website: sites.temple.edu/phire

Director: Shivayogi V. Hiremath, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

The PHIRE lab focuses on understanding people’s quality of life needs and seamlessly assisting them through science and technology. The team is currently working on an adaptive feedback app to help those with spinal cord injuries maintain and improve physical activity.

Dr. Hiremath is a rehabilitation science researcher with an interest in personal health informatics and rehabilitation engineering. The theoretical bases for his research program stem from the intersection of rehabilitation science and biomedical engineering, with a focus on both the development and application of new technologies to enhance the health and quality of life of people with disabilities. His doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh involved studying physical activity patterns of individuals with spinal cord injury who use manual wheelchairs, towards developing and evaluating a physical activity monitoring system. His postdoctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine involved developing and evaluating neural decoders, personalized to individuals with upper limb paralysis, which translate modulated cortical activity towards controlling assistive technologies through direct brain-computer interfaces. His current research focuses on: (1) studying health and physical activity patterns of people with disabilities in the community, and (2) developing and applying novel physical activity monitoring and feedback technology, which when combined with behavioral programs would improve the health and physical activity of people with disabilities.

Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology Program


Director: Brandie Taylor, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The reproductive and perinatal epidemiology program in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics is focused on examining the determinants of adverse reproductive and pregnancy outcomes.

Risk Communication Laboratory

Website: sites.temple.edu/turiskcommlab

Director: Sarah Bauerle Bass, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Risk Communication Laboratory is a state-of-the-art laboratory housing a cohort of educators, researchers, students, and public health professionals. Our mission is to advance public health through the design and testing of effective health communication messages and public health campaigns, developed using commercial marketing methods.

Siminoff Research Group

Website: siminoffresearchgroup.org

Director: Laura A. Siminoff, PhD
Dean, College of Public Health
Laura H. Carnell Professor of Public Health, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Led by Dean Laura Siminoff, this team of researchers focuses on developing strategies to enhance patient-provider communication in a range of serious medical conditions, including organ transplantation, cancer treatment, genetic testing, and end-of-life decision making. Dean Siminoff is an internationally known authority for her work in these areas and the use of both qualitative and quantitative research methods to best understand the relevant clinical issues in these complex areas of health care. The research team has tremendous expertise in the use of these assessment methods as well as in the training and mentoring of health care providers in appropriate communication strategies. 

Social and Behavioral Health Interventions Laboratory

Website: cph.temple.edu/social-behavioral-health-intervention-lab-sbhi

DirectorStephen Lepore, PhD
Professor and Founding Chair, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. Stephen Lepore’s research focuses on cancer prevention, control and survivorship, with an emphasis on developing theoretically informed social and behavioral interventions to improve the quality of life in people who have had cancer and to promote healthy lifestyle choices and behaviors that might lead to the prevention or early detection and treatment of cancer. Of particular interest to Dr. Lepore is the impact of cancer on interpersonal relationships and how relationship dynamics with family, friends, health care providers, and other cancer survivors can influence psychosocial adjustment to cancer. His work in this area has culminated in the Social Cognitive Processing model of adjustment to cancer, which has been used as the basis for designing individual, group, and Internet-based interventions to improve quality of life in cancer survivors. In addition, Dr. Lepore is highly committed to reducing the burden of cancer in high-risk populations, such as low-income and African American communities where exposures to cancer risk factors are high and cancer outcomes are poor. Efforts to reduce cancer disparities have included an intervention to promote informed decision making about prostate cancer testing among African American men and an intervention to promote smoking cessation and reduce harms of secondhand smoke exposure in low-income, African American families. New research directions are focusing on using technology, such as the internet, mobile phones and electronic medical records, to increase the reach and efficacy of social and behavioral interventions. For example, ongoing trials investigate the psychological and social benefits of online support groups for cancer survivors and the use of mHealth (text messaging, mobile apps) to promote health behavior change.

Speech, Language and Brain Laboratory

Website: sites.temple.edu/slablab


Gayle DeDe, PhD
Research Associate Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Edwin Maas, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

The Speech, Language and Brain Laboratory (SLAB Lab) focuses on speech and language comprehension and production across the lifespan, both in unimpaired individuals and in various populations with developmental or acquired speech and/or language disorders, such as aphasia, apraxia of speech, and phonological disorders. The research is primarily behavioral and combines different methodologies, including eye-tracking, perceptual speech error analysis, psycholinguistic reaction time studies, acoustic analysis, neuropsychology and treatment research. Research in the SLAB Lab is theoretically motivated and has implications both for models of normal speech and language processing and for clinical practice.

Spinal Neuromotor Laboratory

Director: Christopher Thompson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

The Spinal Neuromotor Laboratory seeks to better understand how the spinal cord controls movement. To accomplish this, we use a wide variety of approaches and models to better understand the activity of the central nervous system. One of the main approaches we use is to record the electrical activity of skeletal muscle and decompose this information into the discharge of several dozens of individual spinal motoneurons. Recent technological advances have allowed us to record these detailed neuronal firing patterns noninvasively in humans using high-density surface electrode arrays. This approach has opened up several new avenues or research: Not only can we record from a large number of neurons, but we are now able to perform these detailed analyses in a wider range of subjects, including children, and in more relevant environments, including in the home or hospital setting. This state-of-the-art human work is paralleled by animal investigations in which we are able to perform more invasive recordings, such as recording the discharge of spinal interneuron populations using intraspinal microelectrode arrays. Our work is highly collaborative and we have active projects with our local, national, and international colleagues. The new knowledge we produce regarding the spinal control of movement is focused on developing life-changing therapies for individuals with disorders of the peripheral or central nervous system.

Sport Concussion Laboratory

Website: sites.google.com/a/temple.edu/scl

Director: Ryan Tierney, PhD, ATC
Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

The mission of the Sport Concussion Laboratory is to broaden our understanding of brain injury. We conduct clinical research and, through collaboration with basic scientists, translational research connecting basic science and clinical practice. We are particularly interested in elucidating the mechanisms underlying variable cellular and clinical responses to mechanical stress imparted during concussive and sub-concussive head impacts.

Virtual Environment and Postural Orientation (VEPO) Laboratory


Director: Emily Keshner, EdD
Professor, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

The Virtual Environment and Postural Orientation Lab focuses on identifying how humans use visual cues to maintain balance and how the multimodal sensory inputs are processed and used for postural control. Current emphasis is on the control of balance in elderly adults and post-stroke patients. The lab uses virtual reality technology to provide a meaningful or unreliable visual environment and a dynamic posture platform with embedded force plates to produce physical instability. Motion analysis infrared cameras and electromyography are used to record changes in muscles and body motion.

VEPO Laboratory is not accepting new students at this time.

Water, Health and Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Lab

Director: Heather Murphy, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The Water, Health and Applied Microbiology (WHAM) Laboratory is housed within the Division of Environmental Health in the College of Public Health at Temple University. The lab team consists of research fellows, graduate students and undergraduate students interested in the field of water and health. The laboratory primarily focuses on microbiological contamination of water supplies and the subsequent impacts on public health.