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Dr. Carlos Balsalobre-Fernandez

Sports Scientist, iOS Developer

Carlos is a sport scientist from Madrid, Spain. His main interests are exercise performance, strength training and new technologies. He has a PhD. on High Performance in Sports and has authored several scientific papers on peer-review journals on the topic of load-velocity profiling, strength testing and sports technology. Also, he is an iOS developer, creator of scientifically validated apps to measure muscular performance just with a smartphone. His passion is to design affordable and simple technology to bridge the gap between laboratory measurements and field practice.

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DR. Andrew Barr

Founder, Innovate Performance

Doctor Andrew Barr holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy, a Masters’ degree in Sports Science, and certifications in Pilates (PFUK) and NSCA Strength & Conditioning (CSCS). Andy consults with multiple professional sports teams and athletes around the world, speaks on injury recovery and management, and runs innovative sports injury prevention and performance courses.

A native of the UK, Andy started his career as a professional soccer player with Luton Town Football Club (F.C.). When his athletic career was cut short by injury, he earned a Physiotherapy degree while playing semi-professional soccer. Andy promptly began his physiotherapy career in 2001 as the physiotherapist for Bolton Wanderers F.C. in the English Premiership.

In 2006, Andy moved on to be the Head of Medicine for Southampton F.C., and in 2009 he was named the Head Physiotherapist for Manchester City F.C. where he truly began to master his injury prevention methods. He began understanding the importance of movement variability and implemented his movement assessment and movement enhancement techniques into his practice.

In 2009, the New York Knicks brought Andy aboard in an injury prevention and performance role. Working with team President Phil Jackson, he performed the role of Director of Performance and Rehabilitation. Andy also set up the medical and performance department for Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club and served as the team’s Director of Medicine and Performance during their inaugural season.

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DR. JAMES CARTER

Director of GSSI

James Carter has 17 years’ experience in the application of exercise physiology in sporting and occupational settings. Following completion of a BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Birmingham, he undertook a PhD at the same institution under the supervision of Prof. David Jones and Prof. Asker Jeukendrup. This body of work focused on endurance exercise and the relationship between carbohydrate supplementation, environmental heat stress and performance. During his PhD (2000-2003), James carried out additional physiology consultancy projects with the Ministry of Defense (British Army) and Chelsea Football Club. On leaving Birmingham, James spent eight years working for the UK-based occupational physiology company Optimal Performance Limited (OPL). Initially this involved providing scientific support to the Ministry of Defense (Army, Navy and Air Force), Home Office (Police and Fire and Rescue) and Department of Health (Ambulance Service). Typical projects included development of physical selection standards, auditing the physical demands of training, fitness testing, investigating methods to monitor and prevent heat strain and improve hydration and identification of risk factors for injury. More recently, James spent four years in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on behalf of OPL, setting up and helping to run a Health and Sports Medicine Centre for the UAE Armed Forces. During this time (2008-2012), he managed a team of health professionals, including: sport scientists; exercise therapists; physiotherapists; dieticians; nutritionists and health educators. James joined the GSSI team in April 2012, initially as Head of the GSSI International Team based in the UK. In 2014 he took on the responsibility of developing the GSSI Athlete Service Model and since joining the institute has worked with numerous professional team sport and endurance athletes. In 2015 James accepted the post of GSSI Director and is based out of the Institute’s headquarters in Barrington, Illinois. Throughout his career he has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and has presented internationally at a range of sport science and occupational physiology conferences.

Dr. Damon Centola

Associate Professor, Annenberg School for Communication
Director, Network Dynamics Group

Damon Centola is an Associate Professor in the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is Director of the Network Dynamics Group. Before coming to Penn, he was an Assistant Professor at M.I.T. and a Robert Wood Johnson Fellow at Harvard University. Centola completed his Ph.D. in sociology at Cornell University where he was an NSF IGERT Fellow in Non-linear Dynamics and Complex Systems. He is currently a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.

Centola’s work addresses the theory of how behaviors spread through social networks. His research uses computational models and online experiments to study innovation diffusion, social epidemiology and cultural

evolution. His papers have been published across several disciplines, including sociology, physics, and public health, appearing in journals such as Science, the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, and the American Journal of Sociology. His work received the American Sociological Association’s Award for Outstanding Article in Mathematical Sociology in 2006, 2009, and 2011, and has garnered the ASA's Goodman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Sociological Methodology. He has developed new computational and experimental technologies, including the NetLogo Agent Based Modeling environment, and was awarded a U.S. Patent for inventing a method for building online networks to promote diffusion. Recent popular accounts of Centola’s work have appeared in The New York Times, Wired, and CNN. His research has been funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, and the Hewlett Foundation.

Dr. Jill Cook

Professor, La Trobe University

Professor Jill Cook, PT, PhD - Jill Cook is a professor in musculoskeletal health in the La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre at La Trobe University in Melbourne Australia. Jill’s research areas include sports medicine and tendon injury. After completing her PhD in 2000, she has investigated tendon pathology, treatment options and risk factors for tendon injury. Her main interests are in connective tissue function, injury and healing. Her particular interests are risk factors for tendon injury and the tendon in growth and development. She is currently working in the Musculoskeletal Research Centre at La Trobe University and at the Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research at Deakin University. Jill currently supplements her research by conducting a specialist tendon practice and by lecturing and presenting workshops both in Australia and overseas.

Dr. Aaron Coutts

Director, Human Performance Research

Aaron Coutts is a distinguished professor in sport and exercise science at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where he is the director of Human Performance Research Centre. Aaron has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers mostly focused around developing evidence-based methods for improving performance and health of athletes. He has more than 20 years’ experience work in high performance sport and is currently the sport science consultant to the Carlton Football Club. Aaron is also a Director of Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA) and a member of the Nike Sport Research Laboratory Advisory Board. He is an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance and Science and Medicine in Football. He is also an accredited sport scientist with the ESSA.

DR. SHONA HALSON

Senior Recovery Physiologist 

Dr Shona Halson is the Senior Recovery Physiologist at the Australian Institute of Sport and an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. Her work involves providing athletes with advice and assistance to minimize fatigue and maximize recovery, she is responsible for conducting applied research to evaluate techniques to reduce fatigue and increase recovery. Shona has worked closely with the Australian Dolphins and their specific preparation for the Rio Olympics. Shona has a wealth of experience in the area of fatigue and recovery and she spent a number of years working as the Recovery Centre Director for the Australian Olympic Committee.

Dr. Adam Kiefer

Director of Training Enhancement and Analysis of Movement Virtual Reality Laboratory

Dr. Kiefer's research takes a complex systems approach to performance enhancement and injury prevention in sport, and integrates innovative technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, eye tracking, and biofeedback tools with established training practices to improve training outcomes. His expertise in behavioral dynamics and dynamical disease provides an innovative approach to measuring, modeling and analyzing the complexity of healthy and pathological human performance in a variety of contexts. Opportunities for mentorship in the research process are available, and participation by interested fellows and prospective graduate students is encouraged.

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Bill Knowles

Director of Reconditioning and Athletic Development of HPSport

Bill Knowles is world-renown in the field of Sports Reconditioning and Athletic Development, with over 29 years of experience at the

professional, Olympic, and elite junior levels of sport. Bill specializes in developing reconditioning strategies for athletes following injury; including immediate post-operative work to a return to team training.

Bill has lectured and trained staff around the world on his concepts of managing joint compromised athletes. He is also sought for his expertise on his method of athletic development and injury prevention. These concepts are entwined and form the basis for his model of reconditioning.

Bill has worked with governing bodies of sport such as the RFU (England Rugby), The FA, Australian Institute of Sport, Chinese Olympic Committee, US Soccer, US Skiing, The England Institute of Sport, and the NCAA. He has trained athletes and staff from over sixty professional teams throughout North America, Europe, and Australia.