College of Health Sciences

Integrative Musculoskeletal Movement Laboratory 


The Noehren Lab is focused on the biomechanics of common lower extremity injuries and is staffed by the running injury lab group. Our research is part of the biodynamics lab, which is centrally located on campus and adjacent to the medical center.

Our research is focused in a number of key areas:

  • First, we are interested in understanding the mechanics of how runners become injured. From this research we are activity engaged in testing promising new treatments.
  • Second, we are also interested in how having an ACL reconstruction affects the way you walk. Previous research suggests that a high percentage of individuals who have had an ACL reconstruction will go onto develop knee osteoarthritis. From this work we hope to determine some of the factors that may be related to the future development of osteoarthritis.
  • Third, in collaboration with Dr. Lattermann, MD, we are engaged in some very exciting work in the area of patellofemoral osteoarthritis. Please visit to learn more about the services Dr. Lattermann offers.

How we collect our data

Our research uses motion capture technology. This is some of the same technology that is used in making video games and movies.

We place small markers on various locations on an individual. After we reconstruct the person in the software we are able to remove the majority of the markers while you walk or run on the treadmill. We also use an instrumented treadmill to measure the force someone exerts while they run or walk.

Current Studies

We are looking for both injured and healthy individuals for the following studies:

Please click on the PDF of the flyers for our current studies for more information. Thank you in advance for participating in our research. We would be unable to make the advances in the treatment of these injuries without the help of our subjects.

Please check back often for new studies starting in the lab.

  • Iliotibial band syndrome study for males


    We are currently looking for male runners with pain on the outside of their knee as well as healthy male runners with no pain for at least the past 6 months to participate in a research study.  We will take measurements of your leg strength as well as your running  and walking form using our 3D camera system.  All research participants are provided with a running lab t-shirt. The data collection takes about 1 hour or so to perform and we have parking right at the lab.

    Download information flyer (pdf) | Contact Dr. Noehren

  • Healthy female runner and non-runner study


    We are looking for healthy female runners and non runners to participate in a research study where we are comparing strength, walking and running form.  Female runners should be running at least 9 miles a week on average and be injury free.  Healthy non-runners should be active, i.e. exercising at least 3 times a week but not running for at least the past 5 years.  All research participants are provided with a running lab t-shirt.  The data collection takes about 1 hour or so to perform and we have parking right at the lab.   

    Download information flyer (pdf) | Contact Dr. Noehren

Researcher Profile

Brian Noehren, PT, Ph.D.


Brian is originally from Trumbull, Connecticut. He got both his bachelors and master degrees from the University of Connecticut. After graduating, he practiced outpatient and acute physical therapy for four and half years at a regional hospital in Virginia. He then pursued his Ph.D. in Biomechanics and Movement Science at the University of Delaware. He joined the faculty at the University of Kentucky in 2009. His research is focused on understanding the mechanics of common lower extremity injuries. Through an improved understanding of the underlying causes of these injuries, he hopes to be able to develop more effective treatments. When not engaged in research, he enjoys all things involving the outdoors, running, and spending time with his family.

Faculty Profile | | (859) 218-0581 | CTW 204D

Recent Publications

Noehren, B. W., Scholz, J., Davis, I. (2011). The Effect of Real-time Gait Retraining on Hip Kinematics, Pain and Function in Subjects with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 45(9):691-6. View here.


Noehren, B., Manal, K., Davis, I (2010) Improving between day kinematic reliability using a marker placement device. Journal of Orthopedic Research, (11) 1405-1410. View here.


Ferber, R., Noehren, B.,  Hamill, J., Davis, I., (2010).  Competitive Female Runners With a History of Iliotibial Band Syndrome Demonstrate Atypical Hip and Knee Kinematics. Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 40 (2) 52-58. View here.


Student Research

We support a wide variety of student researchers from high school students, to physical therapy students and doctoral trainee’s.  We currently have 11 physical therapy students, 3 undergraduate researchers, 2 high school research scholars, and 1 Ph.D. candidate working in the lab.  Student projects are integral to the success of our lab and form the core of our team.  We hold weekly lab meetings to review progress on projects, discuss research findings, and share ideas.   To promote lab unity we have an annual kick ball tourney and have several pizza parties throughout the year to celebrate the end of the semester or the success of our student researchers.  This past year our students are co-authors on over 6 abstracts either accepted or submitted to national conferences. Please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Noehren if you are interested in being involved in research at the University of Kentucky.

Noehren Lab

Noehren lab from left to right front row:   Kristin Meister, Leah Franzen, Autumn Abraham, Casey Miller, Amy Phegley, Melisa Curry, Kelsey Pence, Lauren Nicholson, Hilary Wilson. Back row, Brian Noehren, Carolyn Westlake.