Faculty, Staff, Students
Dr. Semyon Slobounov
Director Virtual Reality/ Traumatic Brain Injury Research Laboratory
Dr. Semyon Slobounov is the director of the Virtual Reality/Traumatic Brain Injury research laboratory. He is a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology College of Health of Human Development, and Adjunct Professor of Orthopedics and Medical Rehabilitation with Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, with primary responsibilities to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of psychology of injury, neural basis of motor behavior, and psychophysiology. His coaching background and clinical work with numerous injured athletes for more than 25 years. His research focused on neural basis of human movements with special emphasis on rehabilitation medicine, psychology and neurophysiology, including traumatic brain injuries. Dr. Slobounov is an adjunct investigator with the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.He has published more than 100 papers in referee Journals including Experimental Brain Research, Clinical Neurophysiology, Psychophysiology, Neuroscience Letters etc. He is the author of two recently published books by Springer: “Foundations of Sport-Related Injuries” and “Injury in Athletics: Causes and Consequences”. He is an active member of Society for Psychophysiological Research and a fellow of American Academy of Kinesiology. He also is an adjunct Professor of the Neuroscience and an affiliate Professor of Gerontology Center at Penn State. He received his first Ph.D. from the University of Leningrad, Department of Psychology, USSR in 1978 and his second Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Kinesiology in 1994.
Dr. Wayne Sebastianelli
Director of Sports Medicine at Penn State University
Dr. Sebasitanelli is also a principle investigator for our research. He is the chief physician in our lab, and oversees our patient-athletes. Dr. Sebastianelli's academic record includes a Fellowship in Sports Medicine, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center (1989) Residency, Orthopedic Surgery, University of Rochester Affiliated Hospitals (1988) M.D., University of Rochester, School of Medicine & Dentistry(1983). He was an assistant professor in the department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at The Pennsylvania State University/Hershey Medical Center from 1992-1995. He is currently the Director of Athletic Medicine and head team physician at PSU Athletics. Dr. Sebastianelli received tenure at The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center/College of Medicine, department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation in 1998. He has worked at the Centre Community Hospital as Chief in the Department of Surgery from 2000-2003 and is currently assistant Chief of Staff at the Centre Community Hospital Surgical Center. Dr. Sebastianelli has received The Best Doctor in America® in 2002 and 2004. His selected publications are: Slobounov, S., Sebastianelli, W. J., Simon, R. Neurophysiological and behavioral concomitants of post-concussion syndrome in athletes. Clinical Neurophysiology, 113:185-193, 2002. Putukian, M., Sebastianelli, W.J.: Football. In: The Team Physician’s Handbook, Third Edition. Editors: Mellion, Walsh, Madden, Putukian, Shelton. Hanley & Belfus, Inc., 54:567-587, 2001. Sebastianelli, W.J.: "Football". In: Sports Medicine Secrets 3rd Edition. Mellion, Putukian, Madden, Editors. Hanley & Belfus, Inc., 82:437-446, 2002.
Dr. Mark Hallett
Chief of Human Motor Control Section in NIH NINDS
Dr. Hallett obtained his A.B. and M.D. at Harvard University, had his internship in Medicine at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and his Neurology training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He had fellowships in neurophysiology at the NIH and in the Department of Neurology, Institute of Psychiatry in London, where he worked with C. David Marsden. Before coming to NIH in 1984, Dr. Hallett was the Chief of the Clinical Neurophysiology Laboratory at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is currently Chief of the Medical Neurology Branch and Chief of its Human Motor Control Section. He is now Editor-in-Chief of World Neurology, the newsletter of the World Federation of Neurology and Associate Editor of Brain. He has been President of the Movement Disorder Society and Vice-President of the American Academy of Neurology. Among many awards, in 2005 he won the Movement Disorder Research Award of the American Academy of Neurology and in 2007 he won the Wilhelm-Erb-GedenkmÜnze of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fÜr Neurologie. His research activities focus on the physiology of human voluntary movement and its pathophysiology in disordered voluntary movement and involuntary movement.
Miss Katie Finelli, MS
Research & Services Coordinator
Miss Finelli is the research coordinator and one of the research technologists in the lab. She attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from The Pennsylvania State University in 2008, and received her Master's degree in Exercise Science from California University of PA in 2011. She has worked for Dr. Slobounov for approximately four years. Miss Finelli began as an intern and then was offered a position both within the lab and for the Penn State Strength & Conditioning staff. She then became the full time research coordinator for the VR lab. She manages all scheduling, testing protocols, oversees interns, honors thesis students, and research assistants, as well as communicates directly with patients, athletes, athletic trainers, doctors, and coaches. Miss Finelli is currently working to expand the lab and upgrade the protocol systems, in order to make the testing more efficient. She strives to maintain research integrity while ensuring our patient's and subject's comfort and security throughout our testing.
Dr. Robert E. Harbaugh
MD, FAANS, FACS, FAHA
Robert E. Harbaugh obtained his M.D. from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine and his general surgery and neurosurgery training at Dartmouth. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) at the Dartmouth Medical School in 1985 and became Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery) in 1997. At Dartmouth, Dr. Harbaugh served as Director of the Cerebrovascular Disease Center, Director of the Neurosurgical Laboratory and as acting Residency Program Director. In 2003 Dr. Harbaugh accepted the position of Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery Residency Program Director and Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at the Pennsylvania State University. He is a University Distinguished Professor, Penn State’s highest academic rank, and was appointed as the Director of Penn State University’s Institute of the Neurosciences. His research interests include clinical trial design, outcomes analysis, quality improvement in neurosurgery and neural engineering. Dr. Harbaugh has obtained research funding from the NIH, NATO, USDA, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, industry, foundations and other organizations. He is a member of the Society of Neurological Surgeons, the American Academy of Neurological Surgery, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the AANS/CNS Cerebrovascular Section (CVS), the AANS/CNS Tumor Section, the American Stroke Association (ASA), the American Heart Association (AHA) Stroke Council, the New England Neurosurgical Society (NENS), the Pennsylvania Neurosurgical Society (PNS) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS). He is presently a Director of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and was recently asked by the National Football League to be a member of the Head, Neck and Spine Committee and to Chair its data collection subcommittee.
Dr. Karl Newell
Professor of Kinesiology, Ph.D.
Dr. Karl M. Newell is Professor of Kinesiology and holds the Marie Underhill Noll Chair in Human Performance at Penn State. Dr. Newell’s research interests lie in the area of human movement in general and more specifically in motor learning and control. His research focuses on the coordination, control and skill of normal and abnormal human movement across the lifespan. He has published over 400 papers in refereed journals and book chapters. His research has received essentially continuous external funding through his career with significant grant support from NIH and NSF. He has also written extensively on Kinesiology as a field of study. Karl has been Executive Editor of the Journal of Motor Behavior and on the editorial boards of several other journals, while also reviewing regularly for a wide range of journals. He is an active member of several societies that relate to and support the study of human movement.
Dr. Bill Ray
Professor of Psychology, Ph.D.
Bill Ray is a Professor of Psychology at Penn State University. He received his PhD from Vanderbilt University and was a Fellow in Medical Psychology at the University of California Medical Center in San Francisco. He has also served as a visiting professor and researcher at the University of Hawaii, Münster University, University of Rome, Tübingen University and Konstanz University. At Penn State, he is currently the Director of the SCAN (Specialization in Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience) program and was previously the Director of the Clinical Psychology Program. His research has focused on approaching clinical questions from a neuroscience perspective. He has used psychophysiological and brain imaging techniques such as EEG, MEG, and fMRI to study emotionality, psychopathology and individual differences. These studies can be found in over 100 articles, book chapters and books. This work has been funded by both national and international agencies including NIH, NIMH, NASA, NATO, and the DAAD. In addition to research, teaching has been an important part of his career. His textbooks include Methods Toward a Psychology of Behavior and Experience (10th ed, 2012, Wadsworth Publishing), Psychophysiological Methods (with Robert Stern & Karen Quigley – (2nd ed, 2000, Oxford University Press) and Evolutionary Psychology: Neuroscience Perspectives Concerning Human Behavior and Experience (2013, SAGE).
Mr. Tim Benner
Computer and Technology Specialist
Tim Benner is the Computer and Technology Specialist for the Department of Kinesiology, and has worked at Penn State for over 25 years. He has an associate degree in electrical engineering technology from the Altoona Campus. Mr. Benner maintains the computers for the center and writes the data acquisition programs and assists with Matlab programming. He also constructs any specialized hardware to assist in data acquisition, or to interface between the various equipment. He has made devices to interface between the force platform computer and the virtual reality computer. He has written programs for the Data Translation series of A/D cards and written programs for the Wacom series of graphics tablets as well as touch screens. He has worked with, and programmed for, uniaxial and tri-axial load cells, uniaxial and tri-axial accelerometers, goniometers, force platforms, dynamometers, and has made custom strain gauge devices.
Dr. Peter Arnett
Ph.D. Professor of Psychology
Dr. Arnett is a professor in the Department of Psychology for Penn State University and a licensed psychologist in Pennsylvania. He obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1992. Upon graduation, Dr. Arnett has worked in the Department of Psychology at several different institutions, including West Virginia University, Washington State University, and Penn State University. He also completed a postdoctoral neuropsychology fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. In 2006 Dr. Arnett was awarded a presidential commendation for Outstanding Service to the Field of Neuropsychology, and has since served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Open Neurosurgery Journal, and Neuropsychology. He is extremely involved in ongoing research including acting as a consultant in the Analysis of Mental Health Data from the Sonya Slifka Longitudinal NMSS Multiple Sclerosis Study, a co-investigator for the Maternal Intelligence, Social Information Processing, and Child Neglect Study, as well as an acting co-investigator for the Identification of Athletes at Risk for Traumatic Brain Injuries Study at Penn State. His upcoming textbook is titled: Arnett, P.A. (Editor). Secondary Influences on Neuropsychological Test Performance. This edited book is going to be the second in a National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) series designed to focus on evidenced-based neuropsychological practice and assessment.
Dr. Christopher Zacko
MD, Head of Penn State Neurological Sports Injury Program
Dr. J. Christopher Zacko is a co-investigator of our research efforts, contributing heavily to our center with his extensive clinical expertise in neurotrauma and traumatic brain injury. His previous research on diffuse axonal injury combined with his clinical experiences as a Neurotraumatologist and Neurointensivist brings an important perspective to our work. He is involved in clinical assessment of our patient athletes and is focused on strengthening our translational research efforts allowing our investigations to better bridge the gap from “bench to bedside”. Dr. Zacko is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery at Penn State Hershey Medical Center. He also serves as Co-Director of Neurotrauma and Neurocritical Care at the medical center and is head of the Penn State Neurological Sports Injury Program. In addition, he is a member of the NFL Brain and Spine Injury Prevention Committee – sitting on the Subcommittee for Development and Management of a Prospective Database for NFL Players. Dr Zacko’s medical training includes a Fellowship in Neurotrauma and Critical Care at the University Of Miami MILLER School Of Medicine (2010), Neurosurgical Residency at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine (2009), and medical school at Virginia Commonwealth University Health Care System (2001). His research interests outside the lab include diffuse axonal injury, multi-modality monitoring in neurocritical care, and cortical spreading depression in the neurocritical realm.
Dr. Kathryn Gloyer
MD, Penn State Athletic Medicine
Dr. Kathryn Gloyer is a team physician for Penn State Athletic Medicine. She obtained her MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Gloyer also finished at Thomas Jefferson University Department of Family and Community Medicine in 2010, and afterwards began a family medicine residency at the Pennsylvania State University Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship. She is currently working in State College at the Center for Athletic Medicine where she works closely with Penn State student athletes who have suffered sport related concussion. Dr. Gloyer would like to carry out research that will further examine the evolution of MTBI in acute, sub-acute and chronic phases of brain injury via combining traditional clinical assessment tools with advanced brain imaging and virtual reality modalities. In 2011 Dr. Gloyer was named an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. She currently continues to hold the title of assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the Penn State College of Medicine in State College, PA. Her most recent publication is: K.Gloyer, MD, D. Aukerman, MD,W. Sebastianelli, MD, and S. Slobounov, PhD. Alteration from Baseline Testing May Predict Recovery Rate from Sport-Related Concussion: Virtual Reality Study. Abstract in Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: March 2011: Vol 21, Issue 2 pg 156-157.
Dr. Brian Johnson, PhD.
Ph.D. in Kinesiology
Mr. Johnson is a Ph.D. candidate in Kinesiology as well as a concurrent Master’s student in Bioengineering. He earned a dual BS degree in Radiological Science and Diagnostic Imaging from Thomas Jefferson University and holds professional certifications in Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Nuclear Medicine. He has been a member of the TBI lab since 2009. His research focuses on advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques to aide in clinical and basic sciences, specifically in injury of the central nervous system.
Mr. Kai Zhang
Mr. Zhang has been a Ph.D. candidate in our lab since 2008. He earned his BS degree in physics from the Nanjing University (China) in 2005. Mr. Zhang then attained a master of physics degree at the Northeastern University in 2008. His research interests include utilizing advanced brain imaging techniques to pursue accurate diagnosis and assessment of sport-related mTBI (concussion). The centerpiece of his work is the ongoing series of MRI projects investigating acute and sub-acute concussed patients' alteration from both a behavioral and imaging aspects. He studies aging, neuro-degenerative disorders and brain-machine interface.
Dr. Michael Gay, PhD.
Ph.D. in Kinesiology
Mr. Gay received his BS degree in 1999 at the University of Maine, and his MS degree in Kinesiology 2001 from the Penn State University. He is currently enrolled as a Ph.D. candidate in Kinesiology at Penn State University (anticipated graduation 2012). Mr. Gay has been an athletic trainer for 13 years and currently works at Penn State as an athletic trainer. His role within the lab to date has been multifaceted. As a clinician he gives clinical direction and feedback to project creation and data collection as it pertains to the clinical component of mTBI. Dr. Slobounov and he have also expanded the depth and breadth of modalities used to diagnose/evaluate subjects recovering from mTBI. This multi-modal approach is critical in evaluating sub-clinical abnormalities and providing data points towards a comprehensive approach in the treatment of mTBI. His recent publications include: -Johnson, B., Zhang, K., Gay, M., Neuberger, T., Horovitz, S., Hallett, M., Sebastianelli, W. Slobounov, S: Metabolic alterations in corpus callosum may compromise brain functional connectivity in MBI patients: an MRS study, Neuroscience Letters (submitted Sept. 30, 2011).