Explore our research areas:

The School of Kinesiology is the home to over a dozen labs, centers, and faculty-driven research projects:

Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory (APAL)

Thomas Stoffregen, lab director


The principal focus of the Affordance Perception-Action Laboratory is on perception and action in virtual environments. Research programs are motivated primarily by the ecological approach to human-machine systems. Areas of research include driving, postural control, performance in head-mounted displays, and motion sickness. Collaborative links exist with researchers in the US, Canada, France, and Japan. The APAL was formerly the Human Factors Research Laboratory (HFRL).

Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL)

Daheia Barr-Anderson, lab director


Research conducted in Behavioral Physical Activity Laboratory (BPAL) focuses primarily on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents.

Center for Clinical Movement Science (CCMS)

Jürgen Konczak, center director


The Clinical Movement Science Center is an interdisciplinary organization at the University of Minnesota focusing on problems affecting the human motor system. Its faculty offer perspectives from the fields of engineering, kinesiology, the neurological, rehabilitation and clinical sciences.

Exercise & Mental Health Laboratory (EMHL)

Beth Lewis, lab director


The Exercise and Mental Health Lab includes studies examining the effect of physical activity on mental health. Studies have included randomized trials examining theory-based behavioral strategies to increase exercise among individuals at risk for mental health issues. Most recent studies have examined the effect of telephone-based physical activity interventions on preventing perinatal depression among women who are at high risk for depression.

Human Performance Teaching Laboratory (HPTL)


The principle focus of the HPTL is to provide Kinesiology graduate and undergraduate students the latest laboratory equipment and experiences in biomechanics, human and exercise physiology. In addition to the lab’s full complement of physiology and biomechanics laboratory teaching equipment the HPTL also has a small classroom for laboratory instruction.

Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory (HSCL)

Jürgen Konczak, lab director


Researchers in this lab attempt to enhance understanding of how the human brain controls movement. Studies focus on recording neuropsychological, psychophysical, electrophysiological, and biomechanical measurements in humans. Researchers examine how infants and children learn to reach for objects and how people with certain diseases lose their coordination. Through these studies, we hope to learn how the nervous system coordinates multiple limb movement.

Laboratory of Integrative Human Physiology (LIHP)

Donald Dengel, lab director


The principle focus of the LIHP is to examine the effects of various disease states and treatments on vascular as well as cardiac systems in an integrative approach. Numerous collaborative studies are being conducted with a number of researchers at the University of Minnesota in various departments such as Pediatrics, Epidemiology, Preventive Cardiology, Oncology, as well as researchers in the University of Minnesota General Clinic Research Center, St. Paul Heart Clinic, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene and Exercise Science (LPHES)

Li Li Ji, lab director


LPHES has recently completed the large multi-center HERITAGE Family Exercise Study. This study examined the interaction of exercise and genetics on risk factors for coronary artery disease and diabetes. Other research focuses at LPHES include studies funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs evaluating the relationships between insulin resistance, sodium sensitivity, blood flow, vascular structure and function, and blood pressure.

Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory (PAEL)

Zan Gao, lab director


The mission of the Physical Activity Epidemiology Laboratory is to improve the health of Americans through empirical research, increasing public awareness, and policy advocacy on issues in relation to physical activity intervention, physical activity correlates, physical health, and obesity.

Sports Medicine Psychology Laboratory (SMPL)

Diane Wiese-Bjornstal, lab director


Sports Medicine Psychology is defined as encompassing "multidisciplinary theory, research and practice in the psychological, behavioral and social aspects of injury prevention and injury experiences among physically active populations across the lifespan." Our Sports Medicine Psychology Lab group studies psychological and social factors that relate to physical activity injury risk, response and recovery, such as emotional responses of runners to sport injury, psychosocial aspects of injuries to military trainees, gender and sport injury, concussions and the female athlete, and the social pressures of conformity to playing with pain.

Skeletal Muscle Plasticity and Regeneration Laboratory (SMPRL)

Sarah Greising, lab director


The goals of the laboratory revolve around the plasticity and regeneration of skeletal muscle, in efforts to mitigate the devastating functional limitations of limb salvage and traumatic muscle injuries. We examine the musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems in efforts to understand and develop effective strategies to address the deleterious effects complex traumatic muscle injuries, namely volumetric muscle loss. Ongoing work broadly encompasses investigating muscle and nerve interactions, metabolic and fibrotic comorbidities, regenerative rehabilitation treatment strategies, and the combination of these in more complex orthopedic injuries.

Sustainability Through Sport Initiative

Tiffany Richardson


The Sustainability Through Sport Initiative at the University of Minnesota bridges classroom opportunities with boots-on-the-ground experience for undergraduate students, and offers unique research opportunities to grad students. STS is poised to widen its reach in the sport industry over the coming years, to become the leading research engine and sustainability support program for professional and college sport organizations across the United States.

Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport

Mary Jo Kane, center director & Nicole LaVoi, center co-director


This interdisciplinary center, the first of its kind in the nation, is dedicated to exploring the impact of sport, recreation, and physical activity on the lives of girls and women. The center focuses, not just on research, but also emphasizes education, community outreach, and public service.