UF Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation research

Translating movement to medicine

Exercise Medicine and Functional Fitness

The UF Physical Medicine in the Exercise Medicine and Functional Fitness Laboratory is committed to performing highly impactful rigorous research to improve patient functional capacity and quality of life across the age and ability spectrum. Through multidisciplinary research teams, we employ a combination of epidemiological, clinical, laboratory and community engagement approaches to develop new therapeutics and injury prevention programs. Our research extends into musculoskeletal health and disease, sports medicine, spine and multi-joint pain, inpatient rehabilitation, stroke and traumatic brain injury.

Research picture montage

Dr. Heather Vincent profile-photo

Message from the vice chair of research

Heather Vincent, Ph.D., FACSM

We are advancing the field of Physiatry through discovery of new methods to increase and preserve physical and psychological function, to increase efficiency of physiatric care delivery and attain high quality of life. Our faculty are exploring new ways to help individuals successfully navigate the life challenges of acute injury, chronic injury or chronic conditions though rehabilitation, combined medical approaches and patient-focused programs.

  • Published Research
  • Dr. Aimee Madsen “Role of Antigravity Training in Rehabilitation and Return to Sport After Running Injuries” Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil 2022
  • Dr. Michael Brownstein “Injury Prevention, Safe Training Techniques, Rehabilitation, and Return to Sport in Trail Runners” Arthrosc Sports Med Rehabil 2022
  • Dr. Shammi Patel “Impact of COVID on Sports Injury Patterns, Changes in Mental Well-Being, and Strategies to Prepare for Future Pandemics in Sport” Curr Sports Med Res 2022
  • Submitted Projects
  • Dr. Fryar invited submission: “Achilles Tendon Rupture in Gymnasts.” Curr Sports Med Reports Nov 2022
  • Dr. Fryar, abstract “Recurrent Fibular Stress Fracture in Collegiate Softball Pitcher” submitted to AMSSM 2023.
  • Dr. Madsen, project in review: “Anxiety State Impact on Recovery of Runners With Lower Extremity Injuries” PLOS One, Nov 2022
  • Abstracts
  • Dr. Fryar “Running-Related Achilles Pain is Associated with Recent Shoe Change and Landing Mechanics in Recreational Runners”, AAMPR Assembly Baltimore Oct 2022
  • Selected as one of the AAPMR Top Research Abstracts in Musculoskeletal Medicine: Dr. Madsen “Anxiety State Impact on Recovery of Runners with Lower Extremity Injuries”, AAMPR Assembly Baltimore Oct 2022
  • Drs. Patel and Brownstein presented case studies “”Post-traumatic Focal Dystonia: An unexpected diagnosis and treatment”, at the Florida Society for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in July 2022
  • Dr. Brownstein presented a case study, “Incomplete spinal cord injury in setting of Loeys-Dietz syndrome”, at the Academy of Spinal Injury Professionals in September 2022

Ongoing and recent research


Research services

Our team collaborates extensively with colleagues in several departments in the College of Medicine, the University, and other institutions on grant applications and funded projects that measure fitness, physical function, exercise capacity, body composition and gait in children and adults.