Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory

UCF Division of Physical Therapy


The Musculoskeletal Research Lab (MRL) conducts cutting edge research to advance our understanding of how rehabilitation professionals examine and treat musculoskeletal and movement disorders.  The MRL integrates with other Institute of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation Science lab spaces (@11,000 sq ft) to optimize shared equipment rehabilitation science research. The MRL contains large open floor space for functional movement testing involving human subjects as well as devices involved in traditional clinical and research settings in physical therapy.  

Mission Statement 
To conduct clinically impactful research in an interdisciplinary manner through collaboration among faculty, clinicians and students to synergize ideas and identify novel solutions to clinical problems.    

Vision Statement
The Musculoskeletal Lab will be the leader in musculoskeletal research in Central Florida with a focus on improving clinical outcomes and identifying the most accurate and efficient approach to treating various musculoskeletal conditions, as well as be a resource for industry to answer clinical questions.  

Values Statement 
The Musculoskeletal Lab functions under the idea that all questions are valid and important and deserve diligence in the process of identifying answers through a process governed by innovation, integrity and science.  


Our laboratory is always recruiting for participants to partake in research studies. Participation in our studies not only helps contribute to science, but can also be a fun learning experience.

What We Do

Clinical research requires unique methodological considerations for individuals seeking care for a given condition.  Factors such as health related information privacy, perceived confidence in treatment approaches, cultural beliefs and background as well as ethical considerations in developing treatment plans for symptomatic individuals are all unique factors clinical research must understand.  This lab acts as site where researchers with different experiences and expertise discuss, develop, strategize optimal research designs for this unique subject population.  

Clinical research requires that data collection take place at locations where symptomatic patients present for care.  Therefore, it is essential that equipment and training to utilize this equipment takes place in a location which provides for consistent training applications. The MRL provides standardization in training for improved consistency when data collection does take place on location.  

Data analysis and interpretation is dependent upon the manner and context in which variables are collected.  In a clinical research laboratory, variables are often identified based on examination procedures that are commonly employed in clinical practice.  Therefore, this space acts as a location for researchers to evaluate possible clinical variables, discuss and describe analytical considerations for these variables which are unique to the clinician and clinical patient. 

Research study protocols can often entail very specific steps that must be carried out in a coordinated sequence.  Multiple factors may be consideredincluding whether a patient can assume a position necessary for a given assessment or if an alternate position is possible.  The MRL acts as a location to discuss, consent process, explanation of the intervention as well as patient concerns. 

Undergraduate and graduate students both seek opportunities for research.  Moreover, many of the students seeking research experiences have plans to go on to professional medical programs such as physical therapy, medicine, etc.  Therefore, the MRL provides research experiences that are clinically relevant.  Students mentored in this lab will better understand the clinical implications associated with clinical research as well as the impact that clinical research can have on patient care.  

Data collection can take place both in the lab as well as local clinic offices, hospitals etc.  However, the equipment associated with clinical research much reside in a singular location where training and protocol development takes place.  Therefore, the MRL lab acts as a space to organize and prioritize utilization of equipment for research studies.  

Available Equipment
  1. Sole TT8 Treadmill
  2. Stationary bicycles
  3. Biodex isokinetic Dynamometer
  4. AlgoMed Computerized Pressure Algometer
  5. Tensiomyography
  6. Microfet handheld dynamometers
  7. High-low treatment tables (x4)
  8. Open floor functional movement space (@800 sq ft)

Meet Our Team


William Hanney's profile picture at UCF

William Hanney, PT, DPT, ATC, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation Science, Physical Therapy
Location: HS I Room: 262
Phone: 407-823-0217

Affiliated Faculty

Patrick Pabian's profile picture at UCF

Patrick Pabian, PT, DPT, Ph.D., SCS, OCS

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, Associate School Director - School of Kinesiology & Physical Therapy, Division Head & Program Director - Division of Physical therapy
Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation Science, Physical Therapy
Location: HS I Room: 256
Phone: 407-823-3457
Carey Rothschild's profile picture at UCF

Carey Rothschild, PT, DPT, SCS, OCS

Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation Science, Physical Therapy
Location: HS I Room: 260
Phone: 407-823-1439

Undergraduate Students

Jonah Gant

Jada Strowbridge


Our laboratory makes a concerted effort to publish our findings in respected academic journals and present at regional, national, and international conferences. In addition to contributing to collective body of knowledge in a given field, presenting original data at conferences is a fun way for the lab’s students to enhance their self-confidence and network with other scientists.


William Hanney's profile picture at UCF

William Hanney, PT, DPT, ATC, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
Exercise Physiology & Rehabilitation Science, Physical Therapy
Location: HS I Room: 262
Phone: 407-823-0217

UCF Musculoskeletal Lab 
Education Complex  
12494 University Blvd, 
Rm 174a  
Orlando, FL 32816 

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