Research News

Bell to receive New Investigator Award from national athletic training foundation

December 14, 2016

UW-Madison’s David Bell will receive the 2017 New Investigator Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Research and Education Foundation.

The New Investigator Award, according to the foundation’s website, “recognizes a researcher who is likely to continue to make significant contributions to the body of knowledge in athletic training and health care.”

David Bell
“I am extremely honored to be selected for this award,” says Bell, an assistant professor with the Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training Program and the director of the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory (WISL). “It is a wonderful acknowledgement of the positive efforts of our research group. “

In recent years, Bell and colleagues have conducted a range of studies examining the prevention of lower extremity injuries, with a special focus on knee injuries.

Earlier this year, Bell and researchers from across campus produced a groundbreaking study examining whether or not more young people are focusing their efforts on excelling at a single sport, instead of playing a variety through the seasons. This report, published in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, was titled, “Prevalence of Sport Specialization in High School Athletics.”

This one-year observational study found that 36 percent of athletes were considered highly specialized, meaning that they trained in one sport for more than eight months in a year. The researchers also determined that these athletes were more likely to report a history of knee and hip injuries.

In addition, Bell this past fall was the lead author of a new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, which is the American College of Sports Medicine’s flagship monthly journal. The report, “Hip Strength in Patients with Quadriceps Strength Deficits after ACL Reconstruction,” examined differences in lower extremity strength in individuals with ACL reconstruction with differing levels of quadriceps strength.

"A key component to receiving this honor is the winner's ability to establish an independent and productive line of research and David has done that with his work on ACL injury, re-injury, and cutting-edge work on sport specialization," says UW-Madison’s Andrew Winterstein, the program director of the Athletic Training Program.  "While this award is a terrific individual honor for Dr. Bell, it also reflects well on his research team, mentors, collaborators, and the Dept. of Kinesiology. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful young researcher as part of our program."

Bell will receive his award at the NATA Clinical Symposia, which is held in Houston in June. In addition, Bell will present an exchange lecture at the American Medical Society and Sports Medicine conference in 2018.