UNC Doctor Kevin Guskiewicz Leading Way In Concussion Research


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NFL big fan of UNC doctors and research at Chapel Hill

As many, including myself, watched the NFL Today on CBS prior to the Dallas vs. Miami game, a lot of us may have briefly noticed or seen the Tar Heel helmet and topic of discussion. Well I’m here to let you know or further inform you, that the good things being done at Chapel Hill by Dr Kevin Guskiewicz are more than just a prop on a pregame show. Not that the mention on national TV during Thanksgiving football is not great, it’s wonderful, and it also showed the breakthroughs continuing to be made at the University of North Carolina. The helmet was one of several new models that are to be tested next season in college and the pros. Along with all the help of Kevin Guskiewcz, research information, and his team at Chapel Hill, the future of what we know and preventative measures dealing with concussions is beginning to look very bright.

Page 2: I’ll dive into the details of the good doctor’s work

IPRC core faculty member A brief Bio of Dr Kevin Guskiewicz would include several chapters so I will try and keep it to a summary. Currently at UNC Chapel Hill he is research director at the center for the study of retired athletes. He began in the department of exercise and sports science in 1995 and in a short 10 years by 2005 was appointed department chair. Over that time and continuing today he has received over 15 grants to help in his concussion research, and to many people including Roger Goodell, he is leading the way in research of concussions, while trying to prevent and also understand the long term affects of concussions. 

Also he received fellowships in the American college of sports medicine in 2003 and the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education in 2006. Then more recently in 2011, after a ten year relationship with the NFL, he was named the director of a committee in the NFL for head, neck, and spine injuries further showing his knowledge and expertise when it comes to serious sports injuries. The awards and credentials of this man with a PHD are limitless, yet he has now become a real friend and partner with the NFL/NCAA in their efforts to raise awareness and take action when it comes to concussions and the long term affects.

As of earlier this year, the NFL and their players association donated $200,000 to Dr Guskiewicz and his research team at Chapel Hill to continue something great already going on. Over the next few years the money will also go to concussion surveillance beginning right away or with a young athlete’s first concussion to an adult. This will happen here at home in the Carolinas and nationwide with college kids as well. Dr. G believes that 50% of concussions at the high school level go unreported, which an athlete like myself can relate to, sometimes pride can get in the way of doing the smartest thing.

Ultimately this shows that not only has the NFL and Blue Bloods alike recognized the overall goal and what needs to be done, but now hopefully some of those believing football needs to change or is too rough for my son , this shows people are trying and making tremendous strides. No matter what the outcome though football will always be a rough contact sport , and now with time unfortunately , some have  seen firsthand that the long term affects of concussions the longer you play, can be life threatening. Sometimes players and athletes need to be protected from themselves to prevent further injury. At Chapel Hill now continuing with the leadership of Dr Kevin Guskiewicz, the ability to do the things necessary to save some of our child-hood heroes is closer than ever. Let’s hope the information we continue to learn today may help our young athletes and the future of tomorrow.

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