March Student of the Month: Kohle Merry

Name: Kohle Merry

Program: Doctor of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences (PhD)

Supervisor: Dr. Alex Scott

Tell us a little bit about your lab!

The Tendon Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation research group led by Dr. Alex Scott targets a widespread problem, overuse injuries and chronically painful tendon disorder in workers and athletes. One unique element of our lab is that it brings together an interdisciplinary team (biomechanists, kinesiologist, physical therapists, medical doctors/students, and more traditional research scientists) to examine both the potential mechanisms for why tendon injuries occur, and potential treatment pathways that could better serve those already suffering from these challenging conditions. Learning from the diverse experiences and skill sets of each lab member creates a dynamic lab environment where I am consistently able to challenge myself and conduct better research as a result.

What project are you currently working on?

Our group has begun the development of a tele-rehabilitation system to translate an Achilles tendon therapeutic exercise program from the lab towards home-use. The system is comprised of a physical exercise tool incorporating a Bluetooth-enabled load sensor, a client-facing mobile application (for exercise-based biofeedback), and a clinician-facing web application (for remote monitoring and program adjustment). With my background in engineering, my work has primarily been spearheading the co-development of this system together with clients, clinicians, engineers, researchers. This formative development process will contribute to current knowledge of appropriate therapeutic exercise dosing for tendinopathic tissue rehabilitation, and its potential to improve the pain, functional status, and activity of people with chronic tendinopathies.

What do you like to do outside of academia?

Outside of my day-to-day, I’m an avid exerciser who can generally be found in the gym or on my bike. I’m amazingly fortunate to have a fantastic wife and young dog (chocolate labrador retriever named Hudson) who I love spending time with. I also picked up baking sourdough bread over the pandemic which has been a humbling and rewarding craft to master.

Congratulations Kohle on being our featured Student of the Month for March! Interested in seeing what else our Rehabilitation Sciences students and trainees are working on? Stay tuned for our next feature!