Our People

The Purdue Neurotrauma Group is committed to improving the early detection and rapid treatment of possible impairment in youth sports and other activities. Our goal is to ensure that more youth may play more contact sports with less risk of long-term impairments.


Principal Investigators

Larry J. Leverenz Larry J. Leverenz, PhD, ATC
Clinical Professor
Department of Health & Kinesiology
E-mail: llevere@purdue.edu View bio
Dr. Larry Leverenz joined the Purdue staff in 1991. He served as athletic trainer for men's basketball from 1993-2006.

Dr. Leverenz holds the academic rank of Clinical Professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, and he serves as Director of Athletic Training Education. He has served professionally as a member of the National Athletic Trainers' Association Education Council and as president of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Currently, he is the President of the World Federation of Athletic Training/Therapy.

Dr. Leverenz previously worked as assistant athletic trainer at the University of Iowa. Before that he was the athletic training curriculum director/assistant athletic trainer at Western Illinois for seven years, athletic trainer at Macomb (Ill.) High School for five years and assistant athletic trainer at the U.S. Air Force Academy for three years.

A native of Fithian, Ill., Dr. Leverenz received a B.S. in physical education and biology from Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, an M.S. in physical education from Western Illinois and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa.
Eric A. Nauman Eric A. Nauman, PhD
Professor
School of Mechanical Engineering
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Basic Medical Sciences
E-mail: enauman@purdue.edu View bio
Eric Nauman received his Masters and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Basic Medical Sciences at Purdue University. He the director of the Human Injury Research and Regenerative Technologies (HIRRT) laboratory where he and his students explore the mechanisms by which tissues sustain damage and develop methods to repair and regenerate traumatized organs. We emphasize the development of well-defined experimental protocols coupled with advanced statistical and computational simulations in order to evaluate cell function in response to various types of insults.

Early work in our laboratory examined the effects of mechanical trauma on spinal cord physiology and function in conjunction with Purdue’s Center for Paralysis Research. The relatively simple geometry of the spinal cord white matter was a useful foundation for the development of our multiscale models linking cellular and tissue level damage. We are currently extending these investigations as part of the multidisciplinary Purdue Neurotrauma Group (PNG) to include traumatic brain injury. This work led to the discovery that a substantial portion of football players exhibit neurophysiological trauma without readily identifiable symptoms.

Dr. Nauman has received the Purdue College of Engineering Early Career Research Award of Excellence, is a University Faculty Scholar, and was recently named the B.F.S. Schaefer Outstanding Young Faculty Scholar in the School of Mechanical Engineering.
Thomas M. Talavage Thomas M. Talavage, PhD
Professor
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
E-mail: tmt@purdue.edu View bio
Thomas Talavage is a Professor in the Purdue University School of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and a courtesy appointment in the Department of Psychological Sciences. He received his BS in Computer and Electrical Engineering and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and a PhD in Speech and Hearing Sciences from the MIT-Harvard Division of Health Sciences and Technology. Professor Talavage is the Founding Co-Director of the Purdue MRI Facility, and is one of the co-Principal Investigators in the Purdue Neurotrauma Group.

The primary research activities in Professor Talavage's laboratory are in the field of neurosciences, with a focus on modeling of systems neuroscience behavior for applications related to diagnosis of, and compensation for, functional impairment. Research activities are centered on the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and structural MRI to elucidate how central nervous system physiology is altered by external insults, such as repeated blows to the head. Work by Professor Talavage and the Purdue Neurotrauma Group serves as the seminal demonstration of the consequences of repetitive head trauma in athletes who are generally classified as asymptomatic.

Professor Talavage has received the Purdue College of Engineering Early Career Research (2005), Engagement (2008), and Advising (2008) Awards. He has additionally received national recognition for his instructional activities, including the C. Holmes MacDonald Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Teacher Award (2005) from the Eta Kappa Nu Association (the Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society). Professor Talavage has served on the IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu Board of Governors, and is an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

Co-Investigators

Ulrike Dydak, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Health Sciences
E-mail: udydak@purdue.edu

Senior Advisor

Dr. Bob Hannemann, B.S.ChE., M.D.
Visiting Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Visiting Professor of Chemical Engineering
School of Chemical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
E-mail: hanneman@purdue.edu

Graduate Researchers

Kausar Abbas
Doctoral student
Fulbright Fellow
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
E-mail: kabbas@purdue.edu
Aditya Balasubramanian
Doctoral student
Graduate Fellow
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
E-mail: abalasub@purdue.edu
Evan L. Breedlove Evan L. Breedlove, EI
Doctoral student
NDSEG/NSF Graduate Fellow
School of Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: ebreedlo@purdue.edu
Katherine Morigaki Breedlove Katherine Morigaki Breedlove, MS, ATC
Doctoral student; Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer
Division of Recreational Sports
Department of Health & Kinesiology
E-mail: kmorigak@purdue.edu
Kent Butz, MS
Doctoral student
Graduate Research Assistant
School of Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: kbutz@purdue.edu
Il Yong (Bobby) Chun Il Yong (Bobby) Chun
Doctoral student
Graduate Research Assistant
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
E-mail: chuni@purdue.edu
Allan Diaz
Masters student
Graduate Research Assistant
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
E-mail: aediaz@purdue.edu
Victoria Poole Victoria Poole
Doctoral student
George Washington Carver Fellow
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
E-mail: vpoole@purdue.edu
Anne E. (Dye) Zakrajsek Anne E. (Dye) Zakrajsek
Graduate Research Assistant
School of Mechanical Engineering
E-mail: aedye@purdue.edu
Trey Shenk
Doctoral student
Graduate Teaching Assistant
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
E-mail: shenkt@purdue.edu
Jeff King
Masters student School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Blaine Gardner
Masters student School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University

Undergraduate Students

Jake Gilfix
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Ashley Eidsmore
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Lisa Li
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Paul Rosenberger
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Jessica Traver
School of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University
Daniel Wodicka
Department of Biomedical Engineering
Johns Hopkins University
Nandi Zhang
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Willis Banks
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
David Klouds
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University
Emily McCuen
School of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University
Erica Zanath
School of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University
Hanna Prost
Biological Sciences
Purdue University
VIP Football Telemetry Team
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Purdue University

Collaborators

Meghan Robinson
Doctoral student
Graduate Research Assistant
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
E-mail: mefloyd@purdue.edu
Douglas E. Adams, PhD
Kenninger Professor of Renewable Energy and Power Systems
School of Mechanical Engineering
Purdue University
Randall R. Benson, MD
Assistant Professor of Neurology
Department of Neurology
Wayne State University
Charles A. Bouman, PhD, FIEEE FAIMBE FIST FSPIE
Michael J. & Katherine R. Birck Professor
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Professor
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Purdue University
Weinong Chen, PhD
Professor
School of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering
School of Material Science Engineering
Purdue University
Henry Feuer, MD, FACS
Professor Emeritus
Indiana University School of Medicine
Alexander L. Francis, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences
Department of Psychological Sciences
Purdue University
Jeffrey W. Gilger, PhD
Professor of Psychology
School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts
University of California - Merced
Denny Miller, ATC/PT
Director of Sports Medicine
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics
Purdue University
Jonathan A. Murray
General Manager, GM Cross Business Programs
GE Healthcare
Riyi Shi, MD, PhD
Professor
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Basic Medical Sciences
Center for Paralysis Research
School of Veterinary Medicine
Purdue University

Partnering Laboratories

Purdue University MRI Facility
@ InnerVision West
3482 McClure Ave
West Lafayette, IN
HIRRT Laboratory
GE Healthcare

PNG

Contact Information

Larry J. Leverenz, PhD, ATC
Clinical Professor
Department of Health & Kinesiology

Eric A. Nauman, PhD
Professor
School of Mechanical Engineering
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering
Department of Basic Medical Sciences

Thomas M. Talavage, PhD
Professor
School of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering

Our Partners

Purdue MRI Facility HK Purdue Engineering HIRRT