Lab Alumni

UCF Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory

headshot of Akash

Akash U. Bali, PT, DPT, MS (2015-2016 and 2019-2020)

Akash Bali is a graduate of the 2020 University of Central Florida Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Prior to attending the University of Central Florida, Bali obtained his B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science and M.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Clinical Exercise Physiology from Texas Tech University. Bali worked on research under the mentorship of Matt Stock at both Texas Tech University and the University of Central Florida. He served as first author on his capstone group’s publication in Experimental Gerontology titled “Muscle strength, not age, explains unique variance in echo intensity” Bali currently works as a practicing clinician in a Pediatrics and General Adult outpatient clinic. In his spare time, he enjoys strength training and continuing to hone his skills as a Physical Therapist.

headshot of ADAM BURTON

Adam Burton, B.S. (2016-2019)

Adam was a member of the Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory for three years until August 2019. His primary project studied the effects of rest interval length on quadriceps force output and motor unit recruitment in older and younger men and women. Additionally, he utilized ultrasonography to analyze differences in muscle size and muscle quality of the study participants. Currently, Adam is a medical student at the University of Miami.

headshot of ROB MACLENNAN

Rob Maclennan, M.S. (2017-2019)

While with Matt Stock at UCF’s Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory, Rob developed a broad range of interests in the nervous system’s control of human movement. The first project he worked on investigated the nervous system’s contributions to strength gains in prepubescent athletes. The second investigated the effects of limb disuse on muscle quantity and quality, as well as it’s effects on muscular strength and control. Rob is currently a Ph.D. student at Oklahoma State University working under the mentorship of Jason DeFreitas.

headshot of Alina Swafford

Alina Swafford, M.S. (2017-2018)

Alina Swafford completed her M.S. in Kinesiology in the summer of 2018. While at UCF she worked under the direction of Stock as a Research Assistant during the 2017-2018 academic year. Her thesis entitled “No acute effects of placebo or open-label placebo treatments on strength, voluntary activation, and neuromuscular fatigue” was published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. Alina was also awarded the NSCA M.S. Student Presentation Award at the 2018 National Conference. Alina is now a Ph.D. student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas working on sport biomechanics projects under the mentorship of John Mercer.

headshot of DAVID CHURCH

David Church, PH.D. (2017-2018)

David worked in the UCF Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory while collecting his dissertation data. His project assessed properties of motor units before and after short-term resistance training to assess their relationship with a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Church now works at the University of Arkansas under the mentorship of Arny Ferrando and Robert Wolfe learning how to use stable isotope tracers to assess human metabolism in response to a variety of stressors.

headshot of JOSHUA CARR

Joshua Carr, PH.D. (SUMMER 2017)

Joshua joined the Neuromuscular Plasticity Laboratory as a visiting research associate during the summer of 2017 while he was a doctoral student at the University of Oklahoma. During his visit, he worked on a project entitled “Additional insight into biarticular muscle function: the influence of hip flexor fatigue on rectus femoris activity at the knee” which was subsequently published in the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and awarded the Graduate Student Writing Award via the American Kinesiology Association. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Southern Utah University.

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