The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), a health and fitness solutions provider and certification authority, announced today that it has reached an agreement that makes the University of North Carolina (UNC) the official research and academic partner of the organization, creating the NASM Research Institute. This new strategic partnership extends NASM's previous relationship with the school's state-of-the-art Sports Medicine Research Laboratory in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science.


"This training and research agreement represents the foundational element of evidence-based practice  that benefits NASM and the University of North Carolina in many ways," said NASM President and Chief Executive Officer Dr. Micheal Clark. "NASM will be fully engaged with UNC's Sports Medicine Research Laboratory in sharing its latest programs and fitness developments while receiving the school's scientific findings and independent analyses. The NASM Research Institute will reinforce our ability to counsel many clients and provide the highest standard for personal trainers to advance their careers."


NASM develops proprietary, evidence-based fitness models that deliver measurable results for a wide range of customers, ranging from professional and Olympic athletes to avid health club members. For more than 20 years, the organization has created innovative certification, education and training programs that have empowered people to live healthier, more active lives.


Curriculum and educational programs for NASM training and certifications will be further developed and enhanced through extensive clinical research, led by Dr. Darin Padua, an associate professor in the university's Department of Exercise and Sport Science. Dr. Padua will become the chairperson of the NASM Research Institute at UNC at Chapel Hill.


"Backed by the scientific expertise of Dr. Padua and UNC's experienced sports medicine research staff, NASM's fitness, performance and corrective exercise programs will continue to elevate the educational standards for health and fitness professionals the world over," said Dr. Clark.


Dr. Padua, who will devote a majority of his time to NASM-sponsored research programs, specializes in researching anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and shoulder injuries, neuromuscular and mechanical factors related to joint stability control and motion analysis. His areas of expertise are the evaluation of athletic injuries, the fundamentals of athletic training and the biomechanics of sports.          


"Our research team has had a great alliance with NASM in sharing our latest industry research," said Dr. Padua. "The NASM Research Institute will test NASM's programs and provide valuable feedback to enhance their results; our joint research studies will produce the most current advances and reliable data for fitness and athletic training educational programs."


Since 1987, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been the recognized global authority in certification, continuing education, solutions and tools for the health, fitness, sports performance and sports medicine professionals. Today, NASM serves more than 100,000 members in 80 countries. In addition to its evidence-based NCCA-accredited fitness certification program, Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), NASM also offers a progressive career track with access to Advanced Specializations, Continuing Education courses, and accredited Bachelor and Master Degree programs. The NASM educational continuum is designed to help today's health and fitness professional enhance their career while empowering their clients to live healthier lives. For more information, call 800.460.NASM or visit