College of Education, Health and Human Sciences College of Education, Health and Human Sciences
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College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Faculty and Staff

LAWRENCE WAYNE WEISS

Professor

Health Sport Sciences

Office Location: 314 Field House

Phone: (901) 678-4648

Email: lweiss@memphis.edu

Dr. Weiss received his doctorate in 1979 from the University of Georgia with a major in physical education and a concentration in exercise science.  His dissertation addressed gender differences in acute endogenous anabolic-androgenic steroid hormone responses to heavy-resistance lifting.  Since that time, his research has delved into developing new protocols for monitoring muscle-mechanical performance and body composition in humans, and in using those protocols to identify adaptations to different types of heavy-resistance exercise. During his seven years at what is now Georgia Southern University, the local hospital (Bulloch Memorial) provided him with the opportunity to develop procedures for quantifying gross measures of extremity skeletal muscle and subcutaneous fat using diagnostic ultrasound. He concurrently focused on examining muscle-mechanical performance changes consequent to various heavy-resistance training interventions. In 1986, he moved to The University of Memphis, but unfortunately, lost access to the diagnostic ultrasound equipment.  Subsequently, Dr. Weiss worked for several years to develop water displacement as a functional alternative to hydrostatic weighing for assessing two-component total body composition, resulting in the development of a functional prototype (volumeter). Concurrent research ventures by Dr. Weiss were primarily associated with the development and application of new testing protocols for assessing aggregate muscle/joint actions while controlling the velocity at which motion occurs. Analogous single-joint systems have been in wide-spread clinical and research use for roughly 35 years, but multiple-joint diagnostic systems were largely untested.  Dr. Weiss was intrigued by this opportunity because movements could be manipulated over a velocity spectrum, and unlike isolated joint actions, could more nearly replicate kinetic chain patterns characteristic of both everyday life and athletic performance.  He used this technology and the measurement protocols developed to investigate the effects of various training programs on both vertical jumping performance and predictors of it in young men and women.  Dr. Weiss now addresses these same issues using alternative technological approaches that enable investigators to manipulate loads (load-spectrum testing) while velocity, acceleration, mechanical power, force, and related factors are directly measured or calculated via inverse dynamics. These approaches further enhance the emulation of natural movement patterns during testing. Professor Weiss founded and currently directs the Human Performance Laboratories as well as one of its constituents, the Musculoskeletal Dynamics Laboratory.  Academically, Dr. Weiss served from 1994 to 2003 as Coordinator for the Exercise Science and Health Promotion Academic Unit, and, subsequent to departmental consolidation and realignment, as Coordinator for the Exercise and Sport Science Academic Unit from 2003 to 2008. Dr. Weiss has served as Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Health and Sport Sciences since 2009.


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Last Updated: 8/23/14