Currently Recruiting Research Studies


Exercise Collapse Associated with Sickle Cell Trait (ECAST) STUDY

The purpose of this study is to determine who is at greatest risk for Exercise Collapse Associated with Sickle Cell Trait (ECAST) and whether any biomarkers can be applied to risk stratify those susceptible to ECAST. Exercise Collapse Associated with Sickle Cell Trait is defined as a significantly greater than normal effort during exercise, unusual muscle weakness and pain (most commonly in legs and lower back), and normal to modest temperature elevation while initially responsive. To this end, we will: 1) test the effect of deoxygenation on red cell sickling in whole blood from sickle cell trait (SCT) individuals with and without ECAST; 2) test correlations between red blood cell sickling phenotype and genetic variants in SCT individuals with and without ECAST. Findings from this study will guide more evidence-based treatment and policy decisions that impact the ECAST population in both civilian and military sectors.

We are currently enrolling Black or African American, active duty and civilian, men and women (18-45 years old) that have SCT with or without exertional collapse. If you are interested in participating or for more information, please call: (301) 295-1371 or email:



Exertion Related Illness (ERIS) STUDY

The USU Consortium for Health and Military Performance is conducting a study utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to determine molecular subtypes of exertional related illnesses (ERI) and to develop a framework to translate our findings into clinical action. To this end, we: 1) have developed a network within the Military Health System (MHS)  to systematically, efficiently, effectively manage, and triage patients presenting with exertional heat illness and/or exertional rhabdomyolysis (ER); 2) will determine the contributions of intrinsic and extrinsic risk factors associated with ERI, and create a scoring system to triage Service Members to early return to duty or further specialty evaluation for recurrence risk; 3) will develop genetic and biologic screening tools for ERI that can be deployed as far forward as possible with the ultimate goal of differentiating those at risk for recurrence and those who can be returned to full duty. The development of the scoring system for the MHS will allow the treatment provider to learn tests that should be ordered immediately. It will also allow for the treatment provider to inform the patient on the process, how long it might take to be completed, and the potential outcomes.

Please contact the USU Human Performance Lab at (301) 295-1371 if you would like further information regarding how you can participate.


Wearable Spine StudY

The purpose of this study is to characterize and explore the utility of heterogeneous digital low back and neck health information collected on military populations with the Conity device, which is a technology platform that captures data from a novel wearable motion sensor system and digital questionnaires. We anticipate that capturing and analyzing all of this information together will advance our understanding of both neck and low back disorders in military populations and ultimately allow us to develop commercial applications, tools, or medical devices that improve the way we prevent, evaluate, and treat military spine disorders in real-time through phenotyping and personalized medicine. We hypothesize that the integration of motion-based metrics or biomarkers derived from motion sensors, in particular, will provide more objective, reliable, and actionable information than traditional subjective questionnaires to (1) accurately benchmark warfighter spine health and ensure healthy spine function for military readiness; (2) predict re-injury risks; (3) track recovery; (4) determine intervention effectiveness; and (5) inform return-to-duty assessments.

We are currently recruiting active duty military personnel and students of the USUHS School of Medicine, ages 18-64. Please contact the study coordinator at (301) 295-1926 or email if you are interested in participating.”