Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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Author Bios

Alexander Bianco, MS



Mr. Bianco is a doctoral student at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville, specializing in sport psychology and motor behavior. He earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in kinesiology from Miami University. His research focus is on the psychosocial components of athletic injury. He has made regional and national presentations and has two refereed published journal articles.

Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN



Ms. Bonci is a registered dietitian/nutritionist and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. She graduated from Vassar College with an undergraduate degree in Biopsychology and from the University of Pittsburgh with a master's in Public Health. She did her dietetic Internship at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Leslie is the owner of Active Eating Advice by Leslie, LLC-a nutrition consulting company and is co-founder of Performance 365-a sports nutrition consulting company. She is the sports Dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs and has worked with other NFL teams, MLB, NHL, the WNBA, Olympic and collegiate athletes as well as the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She is an adjunct instructor in the school of dental medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and also a guest lecturer for the DPT Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Leslie has authored 2 books, co-authored 4 books, and has written several chapters for sports nutrition and sports medicine textbooks.

Taylor Casey, MA



Ms. Casey is an educational psychology doctoral student at the University of North Texas, specializing in the psychosocial aspects of sport and exercise. She earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Texas Christian University and a master's degree in counseling from the University of Missouri. Her research emphasis is related to the influence of quiet eye, an attentional focus technique, on performance self-efficacy, self-regulated learning, and mindfulness. Taylor teaches undergraduate sport and exercise psychology courses and coordinates graduate professional development at the University of North Texas. She also provides sport psychology consulting to a diverse population of performers.

Kristinn Heinrichs, PT, PhD, NCS, SCS, ATC



Dr. Heinrichs holds a PhD in Education (Sports Medicine) and MS (exercise physiology) from the University of Virginia and a BS in Physical Therapy from Marquette University. She is one of two dual Board-certified (neurology, sports) clinical physical therapy specialists in the United States and the only dual-credentialed athletic trainer and exercise physiologist. Dr. Heinrichs has treated athletes of all skills and abilities ranging from Olympians, Division I collegiate, military, high school, recreational, and equine. She is the Regional Health Command-Europe (RHC-E) subject matter expert in physical therapy rehabilitation of acute and chronic traumatic brain injury and associated injuries, integrating osteopathic manual therapy, visual-vestibular rehabilitation, and neuroscience approaches. She aided in developing the RHC-E guidelines for pediatric concussion management and reviewed the DVBIC return to activity guidelines. Her clinical research interests include heart rate variability and autonomic system responses to physiological and psychological stress (overtraining, concussion, post-trauma) in rehabilitation and human performance.

As a university professor, she led the academic development of entry-level doctoral programs in physical therapy and graduate programs in sports medicine. Dr. Heinrichs has served on faculty at Arizona State University in the School of Innovation Design, Harrington School of Bioengineering, and the Department of Kinesiology (biomechanics and motor control. She is a lecturer in the International Master’s Degree in Performance Analysis in the Exercise Science Faculty of Otto Von Guericke Universität Magdeburg. Dr. Heinrichs has been inducted into the Raven Honor Society at the University of Virginia, the Argentinian Shoulder and Elbow Arthroscopy Society, and the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences of Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. She has presented at national and international congresses for sports medicine, neurology, orthopedics, physical therapy, and human performance.

Richard Hubler, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT



Dr. Hubler completed his DPT from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and Rutgers University in 2011 and his fellowship in orthopaedic manual physical therapy from Regis University in 2015. He is currently an instructor in the DPT program at Seton Hall University and teaches in the areas of therapeutic interventions, musculoskeletal physical therapy, and diagnostic imaging. Dr. Hubler is also pursuing a PhD in higher education leadership from Seton Hall University. In addition, he is a Clinical Specialist Physical Therapist at Kessler Rehabilitation Center and serves as faculty in the Select Medical Orthopaedic Residency Program. His research interests include orthopaedic physical therapy, adult learning, and clinical reasoning.

Luke Hughes, PhD



Dr. Hughes graduated from Loughborough University with a BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise Science and MSc in Exercise Physiology in 2015. He then moved to St. Mary’s University to do his PhD alongside lecturing, which he was awarded in January 2019. Luke is now a grant funded Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Applied Exercise Physiology at St. Mary’s University. He has worked with the Football Association and is now a consultant for the English Institute of Sport. He also works as a clinical exercise physiologist conducting cardiopulmonary exercise testing within the Anaesthetics Department at University College London Hospitals. Dr. Hughes’ PhD research focused on the use of blood flow restriction training as a clinical rehabilitation tool, specifically for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction patients. His clinical studies were conducted at the Institute of Sport Exercise and Health at University College London Hospitals. His post-doc research continues to investigate the use of blood flow restriction in other aspects of rehabilitation. His research interests include exercise immunology, bone metabolism, exercise-induced hypoalgesia and physiological adaptations, and countermeasures during exposure to microgravity and unloading.

Johnny Owens, MPT



Mr. Owens is CEO and Director of Clinical Education for Owens Recovery Science, INC 500 corporation. He manages a research portfolio of over 40 clinical trials being conducted worldwide primarily studying the effects of Blood Flow Restriction Rehabilitation in clinical populations. He is the former Chief of Human Performance Optimization at the Center for the Intrepid (CFI) at San Antonio Military Medical Center and continues to serve as a consultant and clinical researcher at the CFI.

He completed his undergraduate course work in Biology at The University of Texas at Austin and earned his Masters in Physical Therapy at The University of Texas Medical Branch. He serves as a medical consultant for teams in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. He is involved in numerous clinical trials involving regenerative medicine, sports medicine, blood flow restriction, and high-energy trauma. Owens has been published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, regularly speaks at the national and international level, and his work has been featured on 60 Minutes, Time Magazine, NPR, Discovery Channel, and ESPN.

Scott Martin, PhD, FACSM, FAASP



Dr. Martin is a Professor at the University of North Texas. His primary research focus involves examining the association between psychosocial factors and health-related fitness. In addition, he has investigated attitudes toward sport psychology, the effectiveness of mental training skills and techniques, and the influence of coaching efficacy on leadership effectiveness and performance success. Dr. Martin has directed or co-directed state and nationally funded research projects and helped establish university centers and educational programs. He has authored over 100 research and professional practice articles and book chapters. He teaches sport and exercise psychology and measurement courses and mentors professional development activities.

Mike McGuigan, PhD, CSCS



Dr. McGuidan is a Professor of Strength and Conditioning at Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. Prior to this, he has held a variety of academic roles in Universities in Australia and the United States. Dr. McGuigan is currently a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and Associate Editor for the Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning. He was also previously employed as a Sports Scientist with High Performance Sport New Zealand, where he worked with many of New Zealand's elite athletes. Dr. McGuigan has consulted across a range of sports in the areas of athlete monitoring and strength and power development, in addition to writing two books.

Jerry-Thomas Monaco, PT, DPT, OCS



Dr. Monaco is a former division 1 cross-country and indoor/outdoor track and field athlete who graduated from Quinnipiac University with an undergraduate degree in Health Science and a Masters of Physical Therapy in 2005. Dr. Monaco went on to complete an orthopedic residency at New York University in 2011 and became a board-certified specialist soon after. He also completed his tDPT in 2017 at Arcadia University. Dr. Monaco has used his experience as a competitive runner to develop running rehabilitation programs and instructs other physical therapists in performing runner-specific assessments and interventions. Dr. Monaco is currently pursuing a PhD in Sport and Human Performance from Rocky Mountain University. He is also a Professor of Physical Therapy at Seton Hall University where he teaches therapeutic interventions and clinical assessments. His research interests include sports science, specifically running and surfing, teaching methods in orthopaedic physical therapy, clinical preparation, and mentoring in health care.

Stephen D. Patterson, PhD



Dr. Patterson is a Reader in Applied Exercise Physiology & Performance at St. Marys University, London, UK. He completed his undergraduate in sport & exercise science from Napier University, Edinburgh, and earned his master’s in medicine and science in sports and exercise from Strathclyde University, Glasgow. He graduated with a PhD in Blood Flow Restriction training in 2011 from Loughborough University and started full time employment as a lecturer and researcher at St Marys University, London, in 2009. Stephen has published over 50 peer-reviewed research articles in blood flow restriction training and other applications to improve rehabilitation and performance. He regularly speaks and talks on the applications of blood flow restriction and consults with sports teams on the best use of blood flow restriction for rehabilitation.

Melanie Weller, MPT, OCS, CEEAA, ATC



Ms. Weller received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Virginia, after which she worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer before completing a Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California. Melanie is an APTA credentialed Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and Certified Exercise Expert for Aging Adults. Melanie's clinical expertise and developing research is in decompressing the vagus nerve to facilitate flow state, optimal biomechanics, and neuromuscular function. Melanie currently has her own practice based in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Rebecca Zakrajsek, PhD, CMPC



Dr. Zakrajsek is an Associate Professor of Sport Psychology at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. She is a Certified Mental Performance Consultant with the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. Her research focuses on perceptions of mental performance services and use of mental training. Dr. Zakrajsek is interested in effective mental performance consulting approaches that enhance learning for optimal performance. She has authored numerous articles related to sport psychology and coaching. She teaches sport psychology courses, mentors students' research, and directs professional practice activities.

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