Thayne Munce, PhD, FACSM, Lab

 Thayne Munce

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Primary Research Group

Secondary Research Group


Dr. Munce Bio

  • Associate Scientist, Children’s Health Research Center
  • Director of Research & Development, Sanford Sports Science Institute
  • Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota

Primary Research Focus

Dr. Munce and his research team study athletic health and performance with the goal of translating evidence-based knowledge into practical applications on the playing field and in the clinic. A primary focus of this work has been assessing head impact exposure and neurologic function of youth football players to better understand the risk of brain injury in this sport.

Behind the research

Mild traumatic brain injury and concussions rank among the most important and challenging issues in sports medicine today. While the risk of concussion in football is well recognized, there is increasing concern about the effects of repetitive sub-concussive head impacts on brain health. Furthermore, the long-term risk of brain injury resulting from football participation is largely unknown.

We have focused our attention on youth football players, since nearly 70% of all participants in this sport are younger than high school age, yet this group has been studied the least. Our primary approach has been to quantify head impact exposure of middle school football players using the Head Impact Telemetry (HIT) System. In addition to characterizing head impact exposure in this population, we have also performed baseline and postseason clinical assessments of neurologic function. These measures allow us to compare individual changes in test performance with head impact exposure throughout the season.

Access Dr. Munce's publications here.


Contact Information
Telephone: (605) 312-6685
Fax:(605) 312-7801


Lab News

May 2017 The 11th annual Sanford Sports Medicine Symposium brought together physicians and scientists to discuss current research findings related to sports medicine and sports-related conditions and injuries. Dr. Munce gave a research presentation titled "An Athlete's Fuel Gauge: Evaluating Readiness and Recovery Using Novel Ultrasound Technology".

May 2017 Dr. Thayne Munce published a research article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research defining and evaluating the basketball-specific mobility test designed to predict musculoskeletal injury susceptibility in collegiate basketball athletes. “Evaluation of the functional movement screen and a novel basketball mobility test as an injury prediction tool for collegiate basketball players”

April 2017 Dr. Thayne Munce appeared on a Keloland Healthbeat story to discuss the benefits and risks of long-distance running.

January 2017 Thayne Munce, PhD, gave a presentation at the South Dakota Football Coaches Association's annual meeting in Sioux Falls. The title of his talk was "Brain injury risk in youth football: what do we really know?"

December 2016 Dr. Thayne Munce attended a traumatic brain injury (TBI) retreat hosted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE. While attending, Dr. Munce gave a brief overview of his concussion related research with youth football players.

News Archive

Munce Lab in the Press
Dr. Munce addresses the question “Is football too dangerous?”
Dr. Munce discusses what parents can do to keep their children safe when playing football
Dr. Munce comments on the Sioux Falls Public High School football helmet inventory
Dr. Munce discusses football helmet quality and new safety ratings
Dr. Munce talks about the Sanford Sports Science Institute’s new location at the Sanford Fieldhouse
Dr. Munce gives an update on his group’s research on brain injuries in youth football