Allison Gruber

Assistant Professor
(812) 856-2447
PH 174

  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, Ph.D, 2012
  • East Carolina University, M.A., 2007
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst, B.S., 2004
  • SPH-K 391 Biomechanics
  • SPH-K 530 Mechanical Analysis of Human Performance
  • SPH-K 631 Quantitative Mechanical Analysis of Human Motion
  • 2016-2020: Co-Chair, Biomechanics Interest Group of the American College of Sports Medicine
  • 2012-2014: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Biomechanics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • 2009-2011: Student Representative, International Society of Biomechanics Executive Council
Research Interests

Running is one of the most common modes of recreational exercise in the United States. Unfortunately, rates of running related injuries remain high despite technological advances in footwear, knowledge of appropriate training methods, and vast amounts of research pertaining to injury mechanisms. Numerous gait characteristics have been identified as potential risk factors for the development of overuse running injury; however, there is a lack of consistency between studies regarding the kinematic and kinetic patterns and events that may or may not cause running injuries. As a result, it seems that we are no closer to understanding the mechanisms of running injuries or how they can be prevented.

My research takes an interdisciplinary approach and uses advanced analysis methods to investigate the mechanisms of running related overuse injuries and the determinants of running economy. I combine biomechanical data with experimental oxygen consumption and substrate utilization data, both experimentally and via musculoskeletal and muscle energetics models, to comprehensively examine the interaction and importance of gait energetics on injury mechanisms. I also use advanced analysis methods, such as multiscale entropy, wavelet transform, and a modified vector coding technique, to investigate coordinated movement patterns and the motor system's response to interactions with the environment. Investigating coordinated movements and non-time domain variables may be the key to understanding the causes of chronic running injuries and how these injuries can be prevented.

Selected Publications

Article Hortobágyi, T., Rider, P., Gruber, A.H., DeVita, P. (2016) Age and muscle strength mediate the age-related biomechanical plasticity of gait. European Journal of Applied Physiology. doi: 10.1007/s00421-015-3312-8. Epub 2016 Feb 11.

Gruber, A.H., Boyer, K.A., Derrick, T.R., Hamill, J. (2014) Impact Shock Frequency Components and Attenuation in Rearfoot and Forefoot Running. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2(3), 113-121, doi:10.1016/j.jshs.2014.03.004.

Hamill, J., Gruber, A.H., Derrick, T.R. (2014). Lower Extremity Joint Stiffness Characteristics during Running with Different Footfall Patterns. European Journal of Sports Sciences, 14(2), 130-136, doi:10.1080/17461391.2012.728249.

Hamill, J., Gruber, A.H. (2014). Chapter 2 - Biomechanics of Running. In: Running Medicine, 2nd Edition. Wilder, R., O'Connor, F., Magrum, E. (Eds). Monterey, CA: Healthy Learning.

Gruber, A.H., Umberger, B.R., Braun, B., Hamill, J. (2013). Economy and Rate of Carbohydrate Oxidation during Running with Rearfoot and Forefoot Strike Patterns. Journal of Applied Physiology, 115(2) 194-201, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.01437.2012.

Gruber, A.H., Freedman Silvernail, J.F., Brueggemann, G.-P., Rohr,E. Hamill, J. (2012). Footfall Patterns During Barefoot Running on Harder and Softer Surfaces. Footwear Science, 5(1), 39-44, doi:10.1080/19424280.2012.742141.

Gruber, A.H., Busa, M.A., Gorton III, G.E., Van Emmerik, R.E.A., Masso, P.D., Hamill, J. (2011). Time-to-contact and multiscale entropy identify differences in postural control in adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Gait Posture, 34(1), 13-18, doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.02.015.

Hamill, J., Russell, E.M., Gruber, A.H., Miller, R.H. (2011). Impact Characteristics in Shod and Barefoot Running. Footwear Science 3(1), 33-40, doi:10.1080/19424280.2010.542187.

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