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Press Release  
Release Date: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 1:29 PM
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Media Contact:
Sholnn Freeman
Communications Specialist
Engineering Researchers Address Football Safety at Workshop
Dr. Garry Harris describes the functions of the "accelerator" to workshop attendee
WASHINGTON (July 2, 2014) – Howard University held its first Football Safety Research Workshop on July 1 to address the gaps in concussion research knowledge and the effects of concussions on brain development in young athletes.

“We wanted to get the faculty in the College of Engineering, Architecture & Computer Sciences school more involved in the data collection, diagnostic testing and treatment options for players to better examine these (concussion) problems,” said Dr. Gary Harris, Howard University’s associate provost for research and graduate studies. “The research workshop was an important advance in that direction.”

Harris demonstrated “accelerometer” technology, a device designed to be placed inside an athlete’s football helmet to measure G-force impact of hits. The workshop also featured emerging technologies to “train the brain,” virtual training technologies and methods to improve football tackling and blocking to lessen physical impact.

During the daylong workshop, physicians, scientists, engineers, computer scientists, technology vendors and educators discussed ways to maximize neurologic health and performance and contribute to the overall safety of athletes playing high impact sports.  

The presenters included Dr. Terry Thompson, a professor in the Howard University College of Medicine who serves as athletic physician of the Washington, D.C. Public School League; and Dr. Vernon Williams, founding director of the Center for Sports Neurology Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Clinic in Los Angeles. Dr. Williams is also a consultant to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Sparks, Anaheim Ducks, Loyola University, Fullerton College, and numerous high schools.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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