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Fascia Research Society

Board and Staff


Rebecca PrattRebecca Pratt, FRS President

Dr. Rebecca Pratt is currently a Professor of Anatomy at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan, US. She completed her PhD in Cancer Cell Biology from Purdue University in Indiana, US. She has been recognized by the American Association for Anatomists for excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and service to the discipline. Her current adventure has her teaching clinical gross anatomy and medical histology across undergraduate years 1, 2 and 4. She is also the Musculoskeletal System course director. Dr. Pratt shares her excitement about fascia every chance she gets. For fun she teaches as an adjunct professor at Weill Cornell School of Medicine, St. George University School of Medicine, and performs in the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Chorale.

Mark DriscollMark Driscoll, FRS Immediate Past President

Mark Driscoll, Eng. PhD., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. His published research focuses on the biomechanics of the spine from the perspective of devising an improved understanding of stability, diagnostics, and/or treatments – having a particular focus on the involvement of soft tissue such as fascia. He chaired the scientific committees of the 2018 and 2022 Fascia Research Congresses and was elected as the first President of the Fascia Research Society in 2020. Dr. Driscoll is also the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Chair for Design Engineering for Interdisciplinary Innovation of Medical Technologies. As the founder and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab at McGill, Dr. Driscoll has received many awards for his research and corresponding inventions which serve in assisting people with disabilities around the world.

Robert SchleipRobert Schleip, FRS Founding Director

Dr. Robert Schleip is Research Director of the European Rolfing Association and also Director of the Fascia Research Group (Munich & Ulm, Germany.) His research on the active contractile properties of fascia was honored with the Vladimir Janda Award. He loves the interdisciplinary learning exchange in the fascia research field and has been a driving force behind the international Fascia Research Congress series, as well the 4-annual conference series 'Connective Tissues in 'Sports Medicine'.

Fabiana Silva, FRS Vice President

Fabiana Silva is a physiotherapist from Brazil. She holds a Masters in Epidemiology and is a Sports Physio Specialist. Currently, she works in a clinical practice and as an invited Professor in Post Graduate Physiotherapy Courses about Fascia, Sports, and Manual Therapy in Latin America. She is the author of two chapters in the new edition of Fascia: The Tensional Network of The Human Body, and is the technical reviewer of the Portuguese version of Travell & Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual.

Robert UmfressRobert Umfress, FRS Secretary

Rob Umfress, CMT, is a manual therapist and educator. Rob first became interested in fascia through self-experimenting with foam rolling and other self-treatment methods. He taught as part of the 600-hour curriculum at the San Francisco School of Massage in addition to having a fascial-based manual therapy practice in San Francisco. Rob began chiropractic school in order to expand his treatment options with an anticipated graduation date of December 2023. He continues to practice manual therapy in a limited capacity while in school. In his downtime he likes to rock climb. He is working toward one day running a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic.

Claire Boucher, FRS Treasurer

Dr. Claire Melanie Boucher is a Lecturer in Sports and Exercise Sciences and Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation at the University of Kent in Canterbury, United Kingdom. Claire’s vocational background in exercise referral led her to an academic career in sport and exercise sciences with a specialism in clinical exercise physiology; her previous research focused on engaging inactive, sedentary females in physical activity. She completed her PhD on the impact of the thoracolumbar fascia in those with chronic lower back pain using ultrasound imaging in 2023. Claire's research continues to investigate ultrasound imaging on fascia, and the use of targeted physical activity interventions to reduce pain and importantly impact fascia.

Kyra De Coninck, FRS Director

Dr Kyra De Coninck has been a senior lecturer for 20 years in Sports Rehabilitation in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at the University of Kent in the UK. Her research focuses on the structure and behaviour of fascia to improve our understanding of myofascial pain. She has presented and published her work internationally, receiving best poster jury prize at the 2018 International Fascia Research Congress.  Kyra is the founder and director of an ultrasound-based fascia research lab at the University of Kent.

David Lesondak, FRS Director

David Lesondak, BCSI, ATSI, FST, VMT is an Allied Health Member in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). He is the Senior Structural Integrator and Fascia Specialist at UPMC’s Center for Integrative Medicine. David is the author of Fascia: What it is and Why it Matters, currently in 12 languages. His follow up, as editor, Fascia, Function, and Medical Applications was nominated for a 2021 British Medical Association award, and will have a 2nd, expanded edition published in 2024. His podcast, BodyTalk with David Lesondak, is listened to in 50 countries. David was an invited speaker at the 2020 NIH Conference on Myofascial Pain.  He also sits on the Steering Committee of the International Consortium of Manual Therapies.

 Tina Wang, FRS Director

Dr. Tina J Wang is board certified Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation medical doctor and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Loma Linda School of Medicine, University of California Riverside, and the Southern California University of Health Sciences. She is core faculty for the musculoskeletal curriculum including the use of ultrasound based diagnosis and interventions. Her published research focuses on ultrasound characteristics of fascial dysfunction to improve clinical understanding, diagnostics, and treatments of myofascial pain syndromes, Ehlers Danlos Syndromes and Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders. Her research on fascial dysfunction has awarded her full membership with Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society. She is also a yoga practitioner and continues her studies under the lineage of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar.

Caterina Fede, FRS Director

Caterina Fede graduated in Biotechnology and in Health Biology and received her Ph.D. in Environmental Medicine at the University of Padova. Since 2008, she has been active in university research and teaching in the fields of Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, and Histology, and actually she works at the Institute of Human Anatomy of the University of Padova with Prof. Carla Stecco. She was awarded in 2020 with the "Fascia Research - Young Scientist Award". She is the author of numerous types of research on cellular and molecular aspects of fascia, in particular, the quantification of hyaluronan, the characterization of fasciacytes, the innervation of deep and superficial fascia, and the regulation of the fascia extracellular matrix according to hormonal, chemical, and mechanical stimuli.

Contact Board or Staff

You can reach any of our governing board or staff members by emailing us at info@fasciaresearchsociety.org