The American Society of Biomechanics Honors Peter Weyand with Hay Award

Simmons Professor Peter Weyand will receive the Jim Hay Memorial Award for Research in Sports and Exercise from the American Society of Biomechanics during its annual conference in August. The award recognizes “originality, quality, and depth of biomechanics research that addresses fundamental research questions relevant to extraordinary demands imposed in sport and exercise.”

His scholarly work focuses on mechanics, metabolism, and performance at the whole-body level. His work is well-known to academics and professionals in various fields. Because of his expertise,  he has served as a lead investigator in several high-profile projects. These include “Michael Johnson, Wired Athlete,” “Physics of Basketball Flopping,” and the Olympic eligibility cases of amputee sprinters Oscar Pistorius and Blake Leeper considered by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.

Weyand holds the Glenn Simmons Endowed Professorship of Applied Physiology and Biomechanics in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness.

Peter Weyand’s Testing of Paralympic Sprinter Blake Leeper on His Use of Long Running Blades Forms Basis of World Athletics’ Ruling

DALLAS (SMU) – A World Athletics panel ruling that Paralympic sprinter Blake Leeper cannot compete using unnaturally long, blade-like prostheses at the Tokyo Olympics was based on research led by renowned SMU human speed expert Peter Weyand.

The governing body for track and field athletes said Monday that Leeper’s disproportionately long prostheses, would give him an “overall competitive advantage”. The ruling follows testing by Weyand and University of Montana professor Matt Bundle on Leeper and his running specific prostheses (RSPs) at SMU Locomotor Performance Laboratory.

Weyand is Glenn Simmons Professor of Applied Physiology and professor of biomechanics in the Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education & Human Development. He also runs the SMU Locomotor laboratory and has done extensive analysis of many professional sprinters, including Usain Bolt and Oscar Pistorius. Bundle is the director of University of Montana’s Biomechanics Lab.

In their report to the panel, Weyand and Bundle provided a detailed explanation of why, all other things being equal, increased leg length causes increased running speed. Previous Weyand studies have shown there is a close correlation between an athlete’s leg length and ground contact length, such as the distance that a runner’s body travels while their foot is in contact with the ground.

“If the height of Mr. Leeper’s RSPs was reduced by 15 centimeters to his natural anatomical leg length so that Mr. Leeper ran at his Maximum Allowable Standing Height (MASH), then his top speed would be likely to reduce from 11.4 m/s to 9.8 m/s, and his overall 400m time would be likely to increase by approximately eight seconds,” Weyand and Bundle wrote.

Leeper, who was born without legs below his knees, won two Paralympic medals at London 2012 and had appealed with World Athletics to be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Tests done at Southern Methodist University in February and March determined that Leeper’s standing height was measured at 184 centimeters with a leg length of 104 centimeters.

Under the panel’s Maximum Allowable Standing Height (MASH) rule, the 31-year-old American double amputee is not permitted to run at a height greater than 174.4 centimeters.

“The decision means Mr Leeper cannot compete wearing these new RSPs at World Athletics’ major international events… or the Olympic Games,” World Athletics said in a statement on Monday.

 

Four Faculty Members Nominated for 2021 HOPE Award

Three Applied Physiology and Wellness faculty members, Caitlin Anderson, David Bertrand, and Brian Fennig, and Teaching and Learning Department Chair, Tim Jacobbe, were among a distinguished group of faculty nominated by students for the 2021 HOPE (Honoring Our Professor’s Excellence) award.

The sponsor, Residence Life & Student Housing, believes that it is important to highlight those professors who have gone above and beyond their role. Congratulations to these Simmons faculty members for receiving high recognition from students.

Body Temperature Regulation Study by Davis Shows Tattoos Can Cause Bodies to Overheat

Associate Professor Scott Davis and his team of researchers conducted a study to see if tattoos affect body temperature, and the conclusion is that extensive tattooing may suppress sweating and cause the body to overheat.

His latest research was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, and the article can be read here.

WebMD also covered the study for its popular medical and health website here.

Davis directs Simmons’ Applied Physiology Laboratory in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness. He is also currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Neurology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

 

Eight New Faculty Members Join Simmons

The Simmons School welcomes new faculty members to the Departments of Teaching &  Learning, and Applied Physiology and Wellness.

Joining Teaching & Learning are

In Applied Physiology and Wellness, they are

Simmons looks forward to their contributions and ideas.

Faculty Promotions in Simmons

With the conclusion of the spring semester the Simmons School is happy to announce the following faculty promotions:

Congratulations to Michael Harris (Education Policy and Leadership) who was promoted to Full Professor, and to Sushmita Purkayastha (Applied Physiology and Wellness) and Meredith Richards (Education Policy and Leadership) who received tenure and were promoted to Associate Professors.

Clinical faculty promotions include four who moved from Clinical Assistant to Clinical Associate status:  Roxanne Burleson (Education Policy and Leadership), Greta Davis (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Amy Ferrell (Teaching and Learning), and Diane Gifford (Teaching and Learning).  Three faculty were promoted from Clinical Associate to Clinical Full: Margaret Jacome (Dispute Resolution and Counseling), Misty Solt (Dispute Resolution and Counseling, and Ashley Tull (Education Policy and Leadership). Plaudits to them.

Bing Explains to CBS News the Need for More COVID-19 Testing for Getting Back to Work

Dr. Eric Bing, Professor of Global Health, Simmons School

Professor Eric Bing, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, is interviewed by CBS News on what Texas needs to do for work to resume. He says more testing has to occur to establish a baseline, otherwise it will be difficult to know about a community’s health, and more COVID-19 cases will rise. According to CBS News, Texas only has tested one percent of the population to date.

An epidemiologist, Bing is a professor of global health in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and in the Department of Anthropology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at SMU. He previously served with the George W. Bush Institute as senior fellow and director of global health.

 

Professor Bing speaks to CBS News in a May 7, 2020 follow up report on the re-opening businesses during spikes in COVID-19 cases.

 

Students in Global Health Class Offer Strategies to Combat COVID-19 on Campus, Competing via ZOOM

SMU students in epidemiologist Eric Bing‘s Global Health class were studying the COVID-19 pandemic even before Bing re-tooled his annual “Battle to Save Lives” competition to focus on the coronavirus. Learn what the students recommend for suppressing the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses, and vote for the best team presentations, via Zoom from 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 30.

The presentations and judging are open to the public.

Bing’s global health class is highly sought-after on the SMU campus. Participation in the class is by invitation from the esteemed global health researcher, physician and psychiatrist. The class requires debate on global health topics, completion of multiple papers and participation in a team project competition where teams of students vie to develop that best strategy to help local agencies solve health-related problems.

Bing traditionally opens the first class of the semester with a discussion on a well-known global health topic. But on Jan. 23, he tabled his original plan and instead led a discussion of a topic that few students knew much about – the coronavirus outbreak that was emerging in Wuhan, China.

“I completely re-oriented the class to study COVID-19,” he said. “Students listened to speakers from the CDC, and epidemiologists from other parts of the world. Then, all of a sudden, global health started impacting their lives. I took a class picture the last class before spring break because I was afraid the students wouldn’t be back and this would the last time we met in person.”  Like many other universities, SMU moved all its classes online after spring break.

Senior Ben DeLeon says he knew nothing about COVID-19 when Bing discussed it on the first day of class. “I would never in a million years have guessed that it would affect us the way it has,” said the applied physiology and health management major.

On Thursday, DeLeon’s team will join four other student groups to propose ways the SMU campus can mitigate the effects of the virus when students return to campus. And SMU administrators will be listening. Judges include Peter Moore, vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, ad interim,  and K.C. Mmeje. Vice president for Student Affairs.

 Details:

What: “Combating COVID-19 on Campus,” Five teams of SMU students have developed strategies to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. Watch them compete and help select the winning team. Global Health student teams will join other SMU and UTD students when they enter their projects in a $5,000 grantchallenge presented by Dallas incubator  RevTech Ventures. The grant challenges students to create a low-risk campus environment that could exist after state- and local-executive orders have expired.

When: 5 to 8 pm., Thursday, April 30

Who: Eric Bing, professor of global health, SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development. A physician and global health researcher, Bing received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, his M.P.H and Ph. D. in epidemiology from UCLA and his M.B.A. from Duke University. Before joining SMU to head the global health program, he was director of the global health initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. Bing selects high-performing students representing a variety of majors to join the class.

Tune in: SMU.ZOOM.US/J/98455940148

 

 

American College of Sports Medicine Awards Research Grant to Doctoral Student Claire Trotter

Claire Trotter, a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, received a $5000 National ACSM Doctoral Research Grant from the American College of Sports Medicine Foundation.

The grant will help fund her dissertation research investigating central nervous system dysfunction in multiple sclerosis patients. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by degeneration of brain cells which alters their normal signaling patterns. Her goal is to quantify the alterations made to these signaling patterns to help aid in the more successful treatment of the disease.

Nearly 1 million US citizens are thought to be living with multiple sclerosis (MS). Despite diagnosis being on the rise, there is still a lack of mechanistic understanding of the disease.

Trotter works in the Integrative Physiology Laboratory under the direction of her Ph.D. mentor, Associate Professor Scott Davis. As an SMU senior undergraduate in 2016, she worked as a research assistant in Davis’ lab. After graduation she pursued a Master Degree in Biology from University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, and returned to SMU for her Ph.D. because of her undergraduate experience. “I was drawn to return to SMU because of the quality mentorship I had previously and the high level scientific investigation, ” she says.

The grant funder, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.  The ACSM Foundation receives, administers and disburses funds to support the College’s educational, scientific and charitable purposes.