Each football season ignites a drumbeat of media interest in concussion; all year round, research on the subject is flourishing. But despite substantial scientific progress and an uptick in public awareness, fundamental questions are still unresolved.
Is there a way to reliably identify when someone has experienced a concussion? Why do some people respond to the same impact differently than others? Can we prevent these injuries? And how should we treat them?
Since 2015, researchers at Virginia Tech have been participating in the most comprehensive concussion study in the world. The massive project, funded jointly by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the U.S. Department of Defense, has received an additional $22.5 million to support two more years of research at universities across the country.
Virginia Tech’s team, which was awarded more than $1 million for research that will expand their ongoing work to new sports and investigate how gender affects injury response, is led by Stefan Duma, the Harry Wyatt Professor of Engineering and director of the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science.
Co-principal investigators are Steve Rowson, an associate professor of biomedical engineering and mechanics, and Stephen LaConte, an associate professor at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute and in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics.