To date, Dr. Catena’s education, experience and research have been characterized by his drive towards the prevention of, and the successful recovery/return of physically injured individuals.
Robert began his career focused on clinical application of his interests. He has held clinical internships in athletic training and strength and conditioning. Prior to receiving his bachlors degree, he joined the University Fire Department in Fairbanks Alaska as a firefighter and lead medic in this advance life support department, servicing a district of over 20,000 people. He then became a medic for Warbelow's Air Ambulance Service where he performed flight medi-vac services for rural Alaskan communities.
Robert got into scientific research of physical injuries because of his desire to continue his education and specifically to answer "why do we (clinicians, practitioners, ..) do what we do?" Robert received a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He received a M.S. and Ph.D. in biomechanics from the University of Oregon’s Department of Human Physiology. His research at the University of Oregon focused on dynamic balance control and brain injury, culminating in a dissertation titled Attention and gait performance following a concussion. Making this research possible was a combination of skills/interests in anthropometry, biomechanics, motor control and neuroscience.
Robert finished his formal education as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the Harvard School of Public Health and Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety studying occupational biomechanics and ergonomics. His research focused on slips, trips and falls related to manual material handling. He continued this interest in the forensic consulting arena before ultimately returning to his true passion of academic teaching/research.
Currently, Robert is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Evansville. He also serves as the Director of the Dunigan Movement Analysis Lab. His position at UE integrates his scientific expertise in biomechanics with the clinical expertise of his colleagues ultimately to better serve the students and surrounding community in Evansville. Toward that goal, there are plans for some interesting research to come. Dr. Catena’s plans for immediate research will focus on scientific analyses of injury diagnosis and rehabilitation following brain injury and work related injury.
During his graduate and professional careers, Robert's research has been funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American Society of Biomechanics and Liberty Mutual Insurance Agency. He has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed articles, abstracts, and conference presentations. Robert is a current member of the American Society of Biomechanics (ASB), the International Society for Posture and Gait Research (ISPGR) and the Contact Group for Slips, Trips and Falls (CGSTF).
Last updated (1-8-11)
See my CV and current class schedule below