Timothy E. Hewett, Ph.D., named Mayo Clinic sports medicine director of research, biomechanics

International expert in injury prevention and ACL injuries

In July 2015 the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center will begin a new era to enhance the research-based practice at its two Minnesota locations, the expanded Rochester facility and the newly opened downtown Minneapolis site, Mayo Clinic Square across from Target Center.

Serving a wide patient demographic

The effort begins with the July 1 arrival of newly named director of sports medicine research, Timothy E. Hewett, Ph.D., from Ohio State University (OSU) in Columbus. Dr. Hewett currently serves on OSU's faculty as a tenured professor, and also as director of research for OSU's Sports Health & Performance Institute.

With the largest number of varsity sports teams in the country — 36 — OSU has given Dr. Hewett unusually deep and broad professional experience in performance enhancement and injury prevention. He believes this expertise positions him exceptionally well to serve Mayo Clinic's diverse sports medicine patients. "This is a truly unique opportunity because Mayo sports medicine patients present across a continuum of age, fitness level and athletic ability, from pro athletes to elderly patients regaining mobility. From a caregiver's perspective, this is a tremendous opportunity to improve lives on a broad scale," he says.

The interdisciplinary group practice advantage

Mayo Clinic's integrated, multidisciplinary group practice model, coupled with its international reputation as an advanced medical center, both greatly influenced Dr. Hewett's decision to join Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Hewett is an ideal fit for Mayo's multidimensionality, according to Sports Medicine Center co-director Michael J. Stuart, M.D. "Dr. Hewett's extensive expertise spans molecular dynamics, biomechanics and physiology with an emphasis in specialized knee injury prevention programs, an area in which he is an internationally recognized leader. His experiences and forward thinking directly influence the kind of next-generation sports medicine we offer, and that's why we are delighted he is joining us."

Dr. Hewett has received many prestigious honors, including the O'Donoghue Award multiple times from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine for work on ACL.

A three-prong, life span research model

Dr. Hewett's research optimizes sports performance through a three-prong model he has developed. He expects to refine it at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center so that it can be applied across the life span, from grade-school children to pro athletes to senior citizens. The three prongs are:

  1. Focusing on investigating and understanding mechanisms of injury
  2. Identifying individuals at risk
  3. Intervening to optimize injury prevention

Says Dr. Hewett: "Given the expertise and collaborations available at Mayo Clinic, we have a unique opportunity to extend this model. Most places are broken up. You can't work with children and pro athletes and the elderly and the high school sports team. At Mayo, we can, and that is a very, very appealing opportunity to me because as a researcher, it enables me to investigate changes over time of human health, fitness and performance."