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Our Team

The Sanford Sports Science Institute focuses on new research to address training, competition and rehabilitation challenges for youth, intercollegiate, professional and recreational athletes.



Lisa MacFadden, PHD

Lisa MacFadden, PHD

Director
Dr. Lisa MacFadden is the Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute and Sanford Orthopedic Research. She is also an Assistant Scientist in the Environmental Influences on Health and Disease Group at Sanford Research and has appointments as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Surgery, Pediatrics and Basic Biological Sciences at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine. Dr. MacFadden also holds adjunct appointments at the University of South Dakota Department Biomedical Engineering and South Dakota State University Department of Health and Nutritional Sciences.

Dr. MacFadden obtained her BS in Biomedical Engineering with a focus on Biomechanics and minors in Applied Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY). She went on to earn her MS and PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Utah where she studied neuromuscular control and functional electrical stimulation for spinal cord injury. Dr. MacFadden has spent her career building her expertise in the areas of musculoskeletal and orthopedic biomechanics and with focus on athletic performance, musculoskeletal injury, and wearable technologies. Her current research endeavors are focused on golf biomechanics, musculoskeletal injury mechanisms, rehabilitation, regenerative medicine, and orthopedic biomechanics. Her work has been published numerous peer-reviewed manuscripts and technical reports. In addition to her research, Dr. MacFadden works with the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program in Fargo, ND and develops biomechanics testing services at the Sanford Sports Science Institute. Prior to leading the Sanford Sports Science Institute, Dr. MacFadden successfully led several research programs for on injury biomechanics, musculoskeletal injury and physical performance for the US military.


Thayne Munce, PhD

Associate Director
Dr. Thayne Munce earned a BA in Biology from Augustana University (Sioux Falls, SD) and a PhD in Kinesiology from Penn State University (University Park, PA), where he studied applied exercise physiology and human thermoregulation. Prior to joining Sanford Health, Dr. Munce was a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is currently the Associate Director of the Sanford Sports Science Institute and is an Assistant Scientist in the Environmental Influences on Health & Disease Group at Sanford Research. Dr. Munce also holds appointments as an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine and as a Research Scientist with the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Memorial Hospital. He serves on the leadership board of the National Youth Sports Health and Safety Institute (NYSHSI) and is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (FACSM). For the past several years, Dr. Munce’s primary research focus has been studying head impact exposure and brain health in youth football players. This work has been published in leading sports medicine journals and presented at international scientific meetings. Dr. Munce’s broader research topics currently include: 1) brain injury risk and concussion in sport, 2) thermoregulation during exercise and heat stress, and 3) quantitative assessments of athletic readiness. Discoveries from the latter area form the scientific basis of the Sanford SCORE athletic assessment program. In addition to his research, Dr. Munce works with many high school, collegiate and professional athletes by providing elite testing services and performance consultations.

Ben Noonan, MD

Co-Medical Director
Dr. Ben Noonan is the Co-Medical Director for the Sanford Sports Science Institute and an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine with an extensive background in biomechanics and human performance. His focus areas in orthopedic surgery include arthroscopic and open hip, knee and shoulder surgery. Dr. Noonan's training includes a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from North Dakota State University and a master's degree in exercise science and biomechanics from St Cloud State University where he served as the strength and conditioning coach for the men's hockey team. He obtained his MD and completed a residency in Orthopedic Surgery at Yale University and went on to complete a fellowship in sports medicine and shoulder surgery at the University of Michigan where he was a member of the football medical staff. Dr. Noonan has a special passion for ice hockey which was fostered during his youth hockey coaching experience in his hometown of Moorhead, MN. He has published scientific and clinical articles related to ice hockey metabolism and thermoregulation, and he is currently working on several performance and biomechanical projects related to hockey. Dr. Noonan serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and is a certified member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS), as well as a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He currently serves as the team physician for the Moorhead High football and hockey teams, as well as the Fargo Force. 



Verle Valentine, MD, FACSM

Co-Medical Director
Dr. Verle Valentine is the Co-Medical Director for the Sanford Sports Science Institute and Assistant Professor at the Sanford School of Medicine of the University of South Dakota. Dr. Valentine has a profound interest in health, wellness, and injury prevention. His extensive background is supported by his teaching, research, publications, and ongoing medical practice. He also serves as the Director of the Sports Concussion Program at Sanford Health, and the Assistant Medical Director for the Sanford Sports Medicine Outreach programs. His training includes a residency in Family Medicine and fellowship in Sports Medicine, as well as a master's degree in Exercise Physiology. Dr. Valentine has a special interest in child and adolescent athletic injuries, running injuries, and sports-related concussions. He is also an expert in the treatment of athletic and activity-type injuries. He has served as a team physician in many capacities including the WNBA, NBA, LPGA, and multiple DI universities. Currently, Dr. Valentine is a team physician for South Dakota State University, Sioux Falls Skyforce and Brandon Valley High School. He also maintains a clinical practice as a Sports Medicine Physician with Sanford Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. Learn about Dr. Valentine here

Jason C. Dorman, MS, CSCS

Jason C. Dorman, MS, CSCS

Operations Manager
Jason Dorman is the Operations Manager for the Sanford Sports Science Institute. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in biology from South Dakota State University (SDSU) and his master's degree in kinesiology with a primary emphasis in exercise physiology and secondary emphasis in biomechanics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). During his time at UWM, Jason worked as a research assistant in the Human Performance Laboratory, primarily conducting research and performing exercise tests on collegiate and Olympic level athletes. Jason completed a sport science internship at the US Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY and also a one-year work experience position (Post-Graduate Scholar) in the exercise physiology department at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, Australia. Jason has tested and advised myriad high school, collegiate and professional athletes in numerous sports, including gold medal and world record-breaking Olympic athletes. Jason is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is currently a member of the SDSU athletes’ performance safeguards task force. 



Kelsey Herrick, RD, CSSD, LRD

Kelsey Herrick, RD, CSSD, LRD

Sports Dietitian
Kelsey Herrick is a Sport Dietitian for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Fargo, ND. Kelsey Herrick completed her nutrition degree and dietetic internship at Concordia College, Moorhead. She is also a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. She is also a clinical dietitian at Sanford Health and focuses on helping patients with eating disorders. Sports have always been a passion of Kelsey’s; Kelsey was a collegiate runner in both cross country and track.  Helping athletes to improve their performance through nutrition has always been a passion.  Kelsey is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) and the Sports, Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) dietetics practice group.     

Melissa A. Moyer PT, DPT, ATC

Melissa A. Moyer PT, DPT, ATC

Manager, POWER Sports Physical Therapy
Melissa Moyer, Doctor of Physical Therapy, is the manager of POWER Sports Physical Therapy at the Sanford Fieldhouse. She is board certified in sports rehabilitation through the APTA. Dr. Moyer has a passion for running and uses her clinical expertise to help runners through running specific physical therapy evaluation and methods, running performance movement therapy, injury prevention, and assessment of running biomechanics. She obtained her BS in Athletic Training from South Dakota State University, followed by earning her DPT at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. During her time at St. Ambrose University, Melissa expanded her clinical expertise in athletic training as the Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Football and Women’s Volleyball teams. Melissa then completed an orthopedic residency program affiliated with St. Ambrose University and Rock Valley Physical Therapy. 

Zadok J.K. Isaacs, MS, CSCS

Zadok J.K. Isaacs, MS, CSCS

Sport Scientist
Zadok Isaacs is a Sport Scientist for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. He specializes in biomechanical services and research. He obtained a BSc in Leisure Studies: Sports Medicine with a minor in Physics from Howard University. This was followed by a master’s degree in Kinesiology: Biomechanics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). As an undergrad, Zadok competed collegiately in the sport of swimming whilst completing his studies. While at UIUC, Zadok completed graduate research in neuromuscular disabilities, specifically Multiple Sclerosis, performing gait and balance assessments and carrying out rehabilitation programs geared towards improving quality of life in its target populations. Zadok has also completed a sports performance externship at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney, TX, and spent time teaching and coaching swimming. Through these experiences, Zadok has gained expertise in working with athletes ranging from middle school to the professional level in multiple sports, including current Olympians.

Colin Bond, MS

Colin Bond, MS

Sport Scientist
Colin Bond is a Sport Scientist for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Fargo, ND.  He specializes in biomechanical services and research. He obtained a BS in Kinesiology – Exercise Science from Towson University in Towson, MD while competing as a distance swimmer on the school’s NCAA Division I Swimming and Diving team. Following Towson, he obtained a MS in Kinesiology- Exercise Science from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in Durham, NH. While attending UNH, Colin completed graduate research examining lower-extremity strength and neural activation asymmetry in adults as well as coached youth club and high school swimmers.

Lizzie Kasparek, MS, RD, CSSD, LN

Lizzie Kasparek, MS, RD, CSSD, LN

Sports Dietitian and Sport Scientist
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Kasparek is the Nutritionist for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. She holds a BA in Russian and a BS in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. Following her undergraduate studies, she gained experience in the field of nutrition through completing her dietetic internship and MS in Nutrition with an emphasis in Physical Performance at Saint Louis University. While at Saint Louis University, she conducted a graduate research study on endurance athletes and her coursework focused on nutrition, health promotion, disease prevention, physiology and cardiovascular fitness. Lizzie enjoys helping athletes of all ages and abilities take a real foods approach to improving overall health and achieve optimal athletic performance. Lizzie is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), Sports Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition (SCAN) dietetics practice group, and the Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA). 

Jennifer Dalland, MS, ATC

Jennifer Dalland, MS, ATC

Sport Scientist

Jennifer (Jenny) Dalland is the Biomechanics Technician for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and Exercise Science from Minnesota State University Moorhead, followed by a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the College of St. Scholastica. Jenny has experience working as an Athletic Trainer in both the clinic and collegiate settings, helping athletes of all ages and athletic abilities. Jenny works closely with the Power Physical Therapy and the Sports Science Institute teams to preform comprehensive biomechanical evaluations for our athletes. These assessments include video running analysis, return to play assessments, and the Score Pro movement assessments. She enjoys working with all athletes of all ages, helping them to achieve their goals to improve performance and athletic health.


Daniel Poel, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Daniel Poel, MS, CSCS, NSCA-CPT

Sport Scientist

Daniel (Dan) Poel is a Sport Scientist for the Sanford Sports Science Institute in Sioux Falls, SD. He specializes in concussion and exercise physiology research. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA. This was followed by a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM).  While at Dordt, Dan played football, and served as the strength and conditioning coach for the volleyball, baseball, and softball teams. Dan also spent time as a personal trainer and wellness coach while he pursued his master’s degree. While at UWM Dan worked on a multi-year study with UWM student athletes, performing a wide range of movement assessments on the athletes to help them optimize their performance while minimizing their risk for injury. Dan has worked in a variety of fields under the exercise science umbrella and has worked with both sport and tactical athletes, as well as members of the general population. Dan is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and holds two professional certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association organization (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), and Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT)).



Levi Pole, PT, DPT, TPI-M3

Levi Pole, PT, DPT, TPI-M3

Director, Golf
Levi Pole, Doctor of Physical Therapy, is the Director of Golf Operations and a physical therapist at Sanford Health. Dr. Pole graduated from the Concordia College in Moorhead, MN with a major in Exercise Science and Biology. He then earned his doctorate of physical therapy from the University of South Dakota. He recently earned his Level 3 Medical certification from the Titleist Performance Institute.  Dr. Pole applies his unique expertise in mobility and movement across numerous sports, with particular focus on golf. He uses his knowledge to analyze an athlete’s movement, strength, and stability to better understand how their body influences their performance.  Dr. Pole also uses hands on techniques and corrective exercise programs to address key areas that may be affecting an athlete’s movement. He has a passion for working with all athletes in all areas including performance enhancement, return to sport, and research. He enjoys working with the golf community and helping individuals play the game that so many enjoy. As a physical therapist Dr. Pole treats many different orthopedic conditions and has received a number of certifications including his certification in Applied Functional Science and Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA). He is a member the American Physical Therapy Association and is a clinical instructor for surrounding physical therapy programs. His professional interests include movement evaluations, injury prevention and biomechanics. Other interests include the treatment of sports medicine patients, return to sport, and performance improvement.

Alexander Chong, MSAE, MSME

Alexander Chong, MSAE, MSME

Lead Research Engineer
Alexander (Alex) Chong is a Lead Research Engineer for the Sanford Sports Science Institute and the UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences Orthopedic Surgery Residency Program in Fargo, ND.  He obtained both BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Kansas.  He earned his second MS in Mechanical Engineering with focus on Biomechanics at the University of Kansas.  Alex has extensive expertise in the areas of biomechanical analyses and experiments related to human musculoskeletal performance and orthopedics.  He provides formal lectures and laboratory training in musculoskeletal mechanics with the basic principles of biomechanics and biomaterials to orthopedic residents. Alex also works on research projects on orthopedic bioengineering, design and development of devices and teaching simulation models for the treatment of orthopedic surgery and related disease, rehabilitation and other treatment protocols.  He enjoys working with orthopedic surgeons and residents, and has successfully helped them to enhance the understanding of developing and fostering high-quality research to improve care in orthopedic surgery.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at (605) 312-7870.