Lab Members

Thayne Munce, PhD, FACSM – Principal Investigator

Dr. Munce earned a BA in biology from Augustana University in 1998 and a PhD in kinesiology from Penn State University in 2002. Prior to joining Sanford, Dr. Munce was a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently the exercise physiology manager of the Sanford Sports Science Institute and is an assistant scientist in the Environmental Influences on Health & Disease Group at Sanford Research. Dr. Munce also holds appointments as an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and as a research scientist with the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital. He serves on the leadership board of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI) and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM). Dr. Munce performs research encompassing several areas of athletic health and performance with the intent of translating evidence-based knowledge into practical applications on the playing field and in the clinic. His current research interests include: 1) brain injury risk and concussion in sport and 2) quantitative assessments of athletic readiness. In addition to his research, Dr. Munce works with many high school, collegiate and professional athletes by providing elite testing services and performance consultations.  

Dan Poel, MS, CSCS – Senior Research Technician

Dan earned a BA in exercise science from Dordt College in 2010 and a MS in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2016. For his master’s thesis, Dan studied the effects of military style ruck marching on lower extremity loading. Dan is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) and has worked previously as a personal trainer and corporate wellness consultant. Currently, Dan is a senior research technician in the Munce Lab, where he serves as project coordinator or research assistant for all studies being performed in the lab. Dan is technically proficient in many areas of neurologic and physical assessment and has extensive experience in human subjects research.