Thayne Munce, PhD (Ex-Officio)

Assistant Scientist, Munce Lab, Sanford Research; Associate Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine


Thayne A. Munce, PhD, FACSM is an Assistant Scientist in the Environmental Influences on Health & Disease Group and Director of the Athletic Health and Performance Lab at Sanford Research (Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD). Dr. Munce is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and has a Graduate Faculty appointment in the Division of Kinesiology and Sport Management at the University of South Dakota.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and serves on several sports medicine leadership boards, including the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the South Dakota High School Activities Association, the Leadership Board of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI), and the Medical Advisory Panel for USA Football. Dr. Munce’s research mission is to perform high-impact, innovative sports science research that has practical applications for athletic health and performance.
A primary focus of his work is the First Down Project, which is dedicated to improving the health, safety and performance of football players through sports science research and education. The seminal work of the First Down Project is a multi-year study investigating head impact exposure and brain health in youth football players. Dr. Munce and his team also perform research that addresses key issues in brain health, athletic readiness, injury surveillance and thermoregulation in many athletic populations. Finally, Dr. Munce leverages his applied sports science knowledge and expertise to provide elite testing services and performance consultations to athletes of all ages and levels of competition.

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