Dr. Kristen Kucera

Associate Professor, Department of Exercise And Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research

Dr. Kristen Kucera is an associate professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. She teaches the undergraduate Research Methods in Exercise and Sport Science courses and is chair of the EXSS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Dr. Kucera is also a core faculty at the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center and in the Human Movement Science Curriculum. She joined the faculty in 2013 after serving as an assistant professor in the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Kucera received her undergraduate degree (BS, 1994) in athletic training at Linfield College (McMinnville, OR) and completed her master’s (MSPH, 2002) and doctoral (PhD, 2006) degrees in the Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An epidemiologist and certified athletic trainer, Kristen’s research interests include sport and occupational injury epidemiology with an emphasis in conducting and improving surveillance, risk factor identification and exposure assessment, and prevention. Her research projects have addressed occupational-related and athletic-related injuries and illnesses in athletes of all ages, commercial fishermen, carpenters, certified athletic trainers, military cadets, firefighters, andnuniversity hospital employees. Community engagement surrounding implementation of best practices for prevention and improved reporting of catastrophic sports-related injuries and medical conditions are areas of current interest. Dr. Kucera’s work has been funded by The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the National Operating committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment. As NCCSIR Director, Dr. Kucera works closely with the Korey Stringer Institute through the Consortium for Catastrophic Injury Monitoring in Sport (nccsir.unc.edu/about-2/consortia-and-partners). Together, they conduct surveillance and gather detailed information about catastrophic sport-related exertional/medical conditions among athletes in the United States. Results from this work are reported annually to sport and sport medicine organizations to help minimize the incidence and impacts of these conditions.

Kristen Kucera
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