The 5th International Fascia Research Congress will offer the most interesting and relevant fascia research presented by engaging experts. Our confirmed speakers currently include the following. Check back for updates and additional speakers.


Paul HodgesPaul Hodges, PhD, MedDr, DSc, BPhty(Hons), FACP
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), The Unversity of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Paul Hodges is the Senior Principal Research Fellow and the Director of the NHMRC Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Spinal Pain, Injury and Health (CCRE SPINE) at the University of Queensland, Brisbane Australia. Paul has three doctorates: one in Physiotherapy and two in Neuroscience. His research blends these skills to understand pain, control of movement, and the interaction between multiple functions of the trunk muscles including spine control, continence, respiration and balance.

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The large multidisciplinary Research Centre that Paul leads aims to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical practice. He has received numerous international research awards (2006 and 2011 ISSLS Prize [premier international prize for spine research from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine]; Suzanne Klein-Vogelbach Prize), leadership awards (Emerging leader in Health [Next 100 Awards], Future Summit Australian Leadership Award). Paul has published over 280 scientific papers and book chapters, and presented over 120 invited lectures at major conferences in 30 countries. He is the author of 3 clinical texts that have sold over 30,000 copies internationally. He has presented workshops for more than 5000 physiotherapists and medical practitioners in more than 40 countries. He is the lead chief investigator on the first physiotherapy based NHMRC Program Grant and received the 2011 NHMRC Achievement Award as the highest ranked NHMRC Research Fellow across disciplines in Australia.

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Daniel LiebermanDaniel Lieberman, AB, PhD, M.Phil
Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Daniel Lieberman is the Edwin M Lerner II Professor of Biological Science, and Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. He received his AB from Harvard in 1986 (Summa cum laude), an M.Phil from Cambridge University in 1987, and a PhD from Harvard in 1993. His research is on how and why the human body is the way it is, with particular foci on the origins of bipedalism, how humans became such superlative endurance runners, and the evolution of the highly unusual human head.

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To address these questions he combines experimental biomechanics and physiology, paleontology, and comparative anatomy. He teaches a variety of courses on human evolution, anatomy, and physiology. He has published more than 100 peer-review papers and his two most recent books are The Evolution of the Human Head (Harvard University Press, 2011), and The Story of the Human Body (Pantheon Press, 2013). He is also an avid runner.

Some Related Publications:

  1. Lieberman, DE (2013) The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease. New York: Pantheon Press.
  2. Lieberman, DE (2011) The Evolution of the Human Head. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
  3. Eng CM, Arnold AS, Biewener AA, Lieberman DE. (2015) The human iliotibial band is specialized for elastic energy storage compared with the chimp fascia lata. J Exp Biol. 2218: 2382-93.
  4. Eng CM, Arnold AS, Lieberman DE, Biewener AA. The capacity of the human iliotibial band to store elastic energy during running. J Biomech. 2015: S0021-9290
  5. Roach NT, Venkadesan M, Rainbow MJ, Lieberman DE. (2013) Elastic energy storage in the shoulder and the evolution of high-speed throwing in Homo. Nature 498: 483-6.
  6. Roach NT, Lieberman DE. (2014) Upper body contributions to power generation during rapid, overhand throwing in humans. J Exp Biol. 217:2139-4
  7. Lieberman, DE (2012) What we can learn about running from barefoot running: an evolutionary medical perspective. Exerc. Sci Sports Review 40: 63-72.
  8. Lieberman DE., Raichlen DA. Pontzer H, Bramble D, Cutright-Smith E. (2006). The human gluteus maximus and its role in running. J Exp Biol. 209:2143-2155
  9. Bramble D.M., Lieberman D.E. (2004) Endurance Running and the Evolution of Homo.  Nature 432: 345-352.

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Melody SwartzMelody Swartz, PhD
Institute for Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Melody A. Swartz is the William B. Ogden Professor of Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago. Her research is focused on the lymphatic system and aims to understand, modulate and exploit the complex roles of lymphatic vessels in immunity and pathophysiology, especially in cancer. Her lab draws on bioengineering approaches in cell biology and physiology, including biotransport and biomechanics, to investigate the role of lymphatic vessels in maintaining immunological tolerance and the role of lymphangiogenesis in controlling inflammation and immunity.

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She then applies this knowledge to develop novel immunotherapeutic approaches in cancer, including lymph node-targeting vaccine approaches. Swartz holds a BS from the Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from MIT under the guidance of Dr. Rakesh Jain at Harvard. She undertook postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School with Jeffrey Drazen and Roger Kamm before starting her independent career as an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University. She then spent 12 years at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), or Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, where she was a Professor of Bioengineering and later served as the Director of the Institute of Bioengineering. She moved back to the USA in 2014 to join the University of Chicago’s new Institute of Molecular Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Ben May Department of Cancer Research and appointments in the Cancer Biology and Immunology Committees. Her awards include the BMES Rita Schaffer Young Investigator Award, the Arnold & Mabel Beckman Young Investigator Award, the Wenner Prize from the Swiss Cancer League, the Wendy Chaite Leadership Award from the Lymphatic Research Foundation, and the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

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Frank WillardFrank Willard, PhD
Dept. of Anatomy, University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Portland, ME
Frank Willard is Professor of Anatomy and Neuroanatomy at the College of the Osteopathic Medicine of the University of New England (US). He also serves as a member of the teaching board at the European School of Osteopathy and the British College of Osteopathic Medicine. Gaining his PhD in Anatomy and Neurobiology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1981, his research focuses on spinal anatomy and the neurology of spine pain.

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He is widely published and primary editor of the “Basic Sciences” section in the recently published third edition of Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine.

Some Related Publications:

  1. Dreyfuss,P., Snyder,B.D., Park., Willard, F., Carreiro, J., & Bogduck, N., The ability of single site, single depth sacral lateral branch blocks to anesthetize the sacroiliac joint complex. Pain Medicine 9(7):844-850, 2008
  2. Yin W, Willard F, Dixon T, Bogduk N., entral Innervation of the Lateral C1-C2 Joint: An Anatomical Study, Pain Medicine Aug 18 (Epub. ahead of print) 2008 Willard, F.H., (2007) Basic Pain Mechanisms. In: Audette, J.F., Textbook of Integrative Medicine, Humana Press (2008)  
  3. Willard, F.H., The muscular and ligamentous structure of the low back and its relationship to back pain, In: A. Vleeming,V. Mooney, C. Snijders, and R. Stoeckart, (eds) Movement, Stability & Low Back Pain, Churchill Livingston,Edinburgh, (2007).

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L'Hocine YahiaL’Hocine Yahia, PhD
Polytechnique Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Dr. L’Hocine Yahia graduated from the University of Orleans in 1977 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and earned a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the Compiegne University of Technology (France) in 1980. He has been tenured faculty at Polytechnique Montreal (Canada) for 35 years. He is also an associated professor in Biomaterials and Biomechanics at the Department of Surgery of Montreal University. Dr. Yahia is currently the director of the Innovation and Bioperformance Analysis Laboratory.

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His main interests include musculoskeletal biomechanics, the properties of ligaments and fascia, the living systems from Prigogine’s perspective, the redundancy problems in biomechanics, and the biomimetics approach in biomaterials. Recent research topics include: bioengineering thermodynamics for biosystems, biotensegrity and constructal approach in biomechanics and spinal biomechanics. He also serves as a Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Victhom Human Bionics and Begama Technologies Inc. Dr. Yahia holds 10 patents, has written 4 books and more than 200 papers and is a popular presenter at conferences.

Some Related Publications:

  1. L’Hocine Yahia, Nicholas Newman & Charles-Hilaire Rivard. Neurohistology of lumbar spine ligaments. Acta Orthopaedica Scandivanica. Volume 59, Pages 508-512, 1988
  2. Yahia, LH, Audet, J, and Drouin, G (1991). Rheological Properties of the Human Lumbar Spine Ligaments. Journal of Biomedical Engineering 13:399-406.
  3. L’Hocine Yahia, Souad Rhalmi, Nicolas Newman & Marc Isler. Sensory innervation of human thoracolumbar fascia. An immunohistochemical study. Acta Orthopaedica Scandivanica. Volume 63, Pages 195-197, 1992.
  4. Yahia, L.H., Pigeon, P., & DesRosiers, E.A. (1993). Viscoelastic properties of the human lumbodorsal fascia. J Biomed Eng, 15 (5), 425-429.
  5. Beauséjour M, Aubin, C-É. Aubin, Mitnitski A.B., Yahia L’H, Feldman, A. Biomechanical modeling of motor control for the coordination of the spine during weight lifting. Journal of Biomechanics, Volume 31, Supplement 1, July 1998, Page 138
  6. Mitnitski A, Yahia LH, Newman NM, Gracovetsky SA and Feldman AG. Coordination between Lumbar Spine Lordosis and Trunk Angle during Weight Lifting. Clinical Biomechanics 13(2) : 121-127, 1998
  7. Beauséjour M, A Feldman et al. Biomechanical modeling of the control of trunk muscles
    Studies in health technology and informatics 59:150-153 · January 1999
  8. Pascale Pigeon · L’Hocine Yahia · Arnold B. Mitnitski, Anatol G. Feldman. Superposition of independent units of coordination during pointing movements involving the trunk with and without visual feedback. Exp Brain Res (2000) 131:336–349
  9. Bougherara H, Klika V, Marsík F, Marík IA, Yahia L. New predictive model for monitoring bone remodeling.J Biomed Mater Res A. 2010 Oct;95(1):9-24.
  10. Marine Guillemot & L’Hocine Yahia. Approche Thermodynamique dans la Modélisation des processus Biologiques. Techn Report, LIAB, EPM, 2013
  11. Miroslav Grmela, Giuseppe Grazzini , Umberto Lucia and L’Hocine Yahia. Multiscale Mesoscopic Entropy of Driven Macroscopic Systems. Entropy 2013, 15(11), 5053-5064;

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