SOAR Personnel

Primary Investigators

Dr. Adam S. Lepley

Adam S. Lepley, Ph.D., ATC

Dr. Adam Lepley’s research interests are focused on maximizing clinical outcomes following musculoskeletal injury, specifically involving the knee. In particular, Dr. Lepley examines the neural contributions to muscle dysfunction and their involvement in lower extremity biomechanical and self-reported disability.


Twitter: @Lepley_Adam

Dr. Lindsey Lepley

Lindsey K. Lepley, Ph.D., ATC

Dr. Lindsey Lepley’s research interests center around examining the negative neuromuscular effects of traumatic joint injury and identifying therapeutic approaches capable of combating neuromuscular dysfunction. Much of her previous and current research has evaluated the effects of eccentric exercise and electrical stimulation on the recovery of muscle function after ACL reconstruction.


Twitter: @LindseyLepley

Dr. Lindsay DiStefano

Lindsay DiStefano, Ph.D., ATC

Dr. Lindsay DiStefano is extremely active with conducting research to determine the best strategies to promote physical literacy and reduce the risk of youth sports-related injuries, such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries, in children. Dr. DiStefano has published numerous research papers and presented nationally and internationally. She is currently engaged with major research studies to identify best practices for implementation and dissemination of interventions to improve safe physical activity participation and ensure proper development of physical literacy in children.


Dr. Laurie Devaney

Laurie Devaney, Ph.D., P.T., OCS, ATC, FAAOMPT

Dr. Devaney’s primary interest is prevention and management of upper quarter injuries in overhead athletes with a focus on the relationship between spine impairments and the development of throwing-related shoulder and elbow injuries. Additionally, she continues to work on validation of clinical measures of posture and cervical mobility in overhead athletes.


Dr. Kristin Morgan

Kristin Morgan, Ph.D.

Dr. Kristin Morgan’s research interests involve gait pattern analysis; quantifying dynamic joint stability; computational modeling of human movement; detecting and assessing lower extremity injury risk.


Graduate Students

Julie Burland

Julie Burland, M.S., ATC

Julie Burland joined UCONN’s SOAR lab in August 2015. Her primary research interests are in regards to recovery of physical function and psychological factors influencing post-operative and return to sport outcomes following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). Julie is currently involved in ongoing investigations examining the inter-relationships between joint biomechanics, alterations in neural activity and self-reported/psychological deficits after ACLR. Julie received her Bachelors of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT) in 2012 and Masters of Science in Athletic Training from the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY) in 2014. She then worked for a year at Elite Sports Medicine, a division of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (CCMC) (Farmington, CT) as an Athletic Training Resident. She is currently in her final year of the PhD program at UCONN within the Department of Kinesiology. Julie and her husband John enjoy spending their free time playing with their silly dog Scooby.


Steve Davi

Steve Davi, M.S., ATC

Steve’s research focus is to understand the neural mechanisms associated with musculoskeletal injuries, particularly those that afflict the knee joint. Secondary to Steve’s main focus is the development of effective rehabilitation strategies for the treatment of injury associated with deficits in neural mechanics.


McKenzie White

McKenzie White, M.S.

McKenzie is a first year PhD student in the Department of Kinesiology.  Her primary interests are in lower extremity biomechanics and neuromuscular function. McKenzie’s research focus is to understand the underlying mechanisms that contribute to lower extremity injury and dysfunction. McKenzie received her Bachelor’s of Science in 2016 and her Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) in 2018.

Dr. Cody Butler

Cody Butler, DPT

Dr. Cody Butler joined UCONN’s SOAR Lab in August 2018.  His primary research interests are heat illness and injury prevention/performance optimization amongst military members and athletes.  Dr. Butler received a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT) in 2008 and Doctor of Physical Therapy from Regis University (Denver, CO) in 2011.  He later commissioned into the Air Force in 2012 and has been stationed at the US Air Force Academy (CO Springs, CO) and Robins Air Force Base (Warner Robins, GA).  He is currently working on a PhD at UCONN in the Department of Kinesiology.
Dr. Butler and his wife, Ashley, have three children:  Spencer (age 11), Elizabeth (age 6), and Mya (age 18 months).



Justin Rush

Justin Rush, ATC

Justin’s research interest involves novel therapeutic interventions to influence neural excitability following musculoskeletal injury. For his Masters thesis project, Justin will be investigating a novel form of tDCS brain stimulation and it’s effect on neuromuscular control in patients with ACL injury.


Emma Zuk

Emma Zuk, ATC

Emma’s research interest includes assessing risk factors for lower extremity injury, particularly in the youth athletic population. Emma also has an interest in physical literacy and educating communities on the importance of physical literacy.


Other Lab Personnel

Undergraduate Students (Major)

Jiana Baker (Physiology and Neurobiology)

Margaret Burke (Psychological Sciences)

David Csordas (Physiology and Neurobiology/Pathobiology and Veterinary Science)

Kyle Kalotai (Chemistry)

Jessica Lavine (Kinesiology)

Elena Masiello (Kinesiology)

Gustavo Porto (Allied Health)