Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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Author Bios

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.

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.

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.

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.

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