Timothy Butterfield, PhD, ATC

Associate Professor

Tim Butterfield PhD ATC completed his PhD at the University of Calgary, and post-doctoral training at the Ohio State University. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Kentucky, in the department of rehabilitation sciences, division of athletic training. His area of research is muscle mechanics, specifically strain-induced muscle injury and the plasticity of skeletal muscle.

Educational Focus

Muscle mechanics, muscle physiology, biomechanics

Scholarly Interests

Dr. Butterfield’s research interests focus on skeletal muscle function. The majority of acute musculoskeletal injuries seen in sports medicine clinics are injuries to muscle, with the predominant type being strain injuries. Fortunately, skeletal muscle has the amazing ability to adapt, and this property seems to be inherent to muscle fibers themselves. In abnormal situations such as long-term immobilization, the muscle attempts to retain its functional biomechanical properties specific to its new limited range of motion. Although debilitating once the immobilization device is removed, an understanding of the biomechanical properties of the muscle allows clinicians the opportunity to maximize the rehabilitation protocol to assure timely therapeutic intervention without causing further injury. Dr. Butterfield is exploring the potential role of directly measured fiber dynamics and force production during eccentric and concentric exercise on muscle damage and functional adaptation. His models include in-vivo ambulation and exercise models that allow the direct, real time measurements of mechanical properties and performance of skeletal muscle during modified use.


Dr. Butterfield resides in Lexington and spends his free time outdoors in a variety of activities, his favorite of which is back-country camping in the Canadian Rockies.

Recent Publications

Nam J, Perera P, Liu J, Wu L, Rath B, Butterfield TA, and Agarwal S.  Transcriptome-wide gene regulation by gentle treadmill walking during the progression of monoiodoacetate-induced arthritis. Arthritis & Rheumatism. 2011:63(6):1613-1625.


Butterfield TA. Eccentric Exercise In-Vivo: Strain-Induced Damage and Adaptation in a Stable System. Exercise and Sport Science Reviews. 2010;38(2):51-60.


Butterfield TA, Best TM. Stretch-Activated Ion Channel Blockade Attentuates Adaptations to Eccentric Exercise.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.2009:41(2):351-356.


Click here to view Butterfield's CV.


Timothy Butterfield, PhD, ATC
Associate Professor
Athletic Training


Room 210D Wethington Building
900 South Limestone Street
Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0200
(859) 218-0840
Fax: (859) 323-6003