Leadership

PrincipaI Investigator and Program Director

Gregory Hicks, P.T., Ph.D., FAPTA

Professor Hicks is a clinician-scientist and a full professor in the University of Delaware Department of Physical Therapy, which ranks #1 nationally. Recently, he completed a successful five-year term as Department Chair, during which time the DPT program thrived, expanded and became more diverse. Dr. Hicks’ laboratory has had significant funding from the National Institutes of Health since 2008, including major funding for projects focused on the development and testing of interventions to improve physical function for older adults with chronic low back pain. His publication record and ongoing research demonstrates a deep understanding of the relationships between spinal disorders and functional performance in the older population, as well as his ability to conduct studies of adults with painful conditions. In addition to this primary line of work, he has been intimately involved as a collaborator in NIH-funded studies focused on understanding physical function drivers among typically aging adults and older adults post hip fracture. Professor Hicks received two B.A. degrees and a MPT degree from the University of Delaware, a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institute on Aging.

My tenure as a clinician-scientist at the University of Delaware and my scientific collaborations with investigators at leading institutions nationally have given me a unique perspective and vision for the future of clinical and translational research across our partner institutions. I have a distinct vision focused on reducing variability in research-related processes across our partner institutions so as to efficiently create large-scale improvements in our clinical and translational research capacities; this will ultimately lead to an improvement in the health outcomes for all Delawareans. To achieve and sustain this vision, we need to establish a layered infrastructure, which includes human resources, policies, procedures and a sustainable fiscal model for this infrastructure. In the coming years, I would like to see our team focused on (1) developing much-needed research resources to support clinical and translational research growth (i.e. centers focused on recruitment, project management and data coordination); (2) developing partnership networks with established CTSAs and CTRs to advance our mission of improving health in Delaware; (3) enhancing our focus on healthcare disparities (via increased community engagement efforts and strategic efforts to diversify the research workforce); and (4) developing a stewardship model focused on sustenance and continual growth of the infrastructure and foundation that has been laid by NIH resources.

Program Coordinator

Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD

Thomas S. Buchanan, PhD is the George W. Laird Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware and Program Coordinator of the DE-CTR ACCEL Program. He is also the Principal Investigator for KCA 3.1. He received a BS from University of California, San Diego in Applied Mechanics & Engineering Sciences (Bioengineering) and a PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics from Northwestern University. After doing a post-doc at MIT in Brain & Cognitive Sciences, Dr. Buchanan was given a faculty appointment at Northwestern in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and had a lab at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. From there he moved to the University of Delaware’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and became Director of the Center for Biomechanical Engineering Research.

He also served as Academic Director of UD’s interdisciplinary Biomechanics & Movement Science graduate program. Buchanan served as Chairman of UD’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and as Deputy Dean of the College of Engineering before being appointed the inaugural Director of the Delaware Rehabilitation Institute. Outside of UD, he has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Applied Biomechanics and as President of the American Society of Biomechanics. Buchanan holds the rank of Fellow in theAmerican College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and the American Society of Biomechanics(ASB). Dr. Buchanan has been principal investigator of NIH research grants for over 25 years.

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