Onate_James_460x460Associate Professor of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences


Primary Professional Areas of Interest

Dr. Jimmy Onate joined The Ohio State University in January 2010. He earned his PhD in Human Movement Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2002 with a focus in biomechanics and motor learning. He has been an academic research faculty member interested in all aspects of human movement relative to injury prevention and performance optimization since 2003. 

He currently serves as the director of the PhD program in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, chair of graduate studies in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, a co-director of Ohio State's Sports Medicine's Movement Analysis & Performance (MAP) research program, a research scholar for the National Federation of High School Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, and a research consultant to Naval Special Warfare groups based in Virginia Beach, VA.

His main research focus lies in developing functional motion assessment research that bridges the gap across research to clinical systems to allow for evidence-based outcomes for aiding individuals to sustain optimal health and performance throughout their careers and lives.

Research Focus

The specific aims of his research are focused to answer specific issues related to lower extremity injury, in particular anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury, pre-participation examinations and human performance optimization. Funding for his work has been provided through the National Institutes of Health, Office of Naval Research, United States Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare Development Group for evaluating lower extremity injury in collegiate athletes and the development of physical performance models in military soldiers. 

The interaction of these two areas initially seems distinct, yet his approach to the questions lies along the fundamental concept of creating a parsimonious screening approach for evaluating injury risk and performance enhancement for physically active individuals, utilizing the movement assessment information to develop an instructional feedback approach to enhance performance and prevent injury and to integrate these two approaches into an implementable scientific model-driven approach to aid physically active individuals throughout their careers and lifetime to optimize health and performance. 

Dr. Onate acts as a key component in building the bridges between exercise and performance areas relative to all aspects of personalized health care in the hopes of developing proactive integrative approaches for wellness-based medicine aimed at optimizing lifelong health and performance.


  • B Ed, Exercise Science, University of Florida, 1994
  • MA, Exercise Science, University of North Carolina, 1997
  • PhD, Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina, 2002
  • Fellowship, National Athletic Trainers Association, 2012