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Research and Outreach Centers

Center for Excellence for Environmental Health and Safety

Karin Adams

Karin Adams, Center Co-Director

Cynthia Curl

Cynthia Curl, Center Co-Director

The Center for Excellence for Environmental Health and Safety is an academic center dedicated to providing education, training, consultation, and leadership services in the disciplines of occupational safety and environmental health.


The Center’s mission is to promote and enhance environmental health and occupational safety in Idaho through technical assistance, consultation, and outreach.

Center Goals

  • To provide training to enhance the development and careers of environmental health and safety professionals;
  • To assist regional communities, community planners, government agencies and businesses in educating the public, state, and local officials on issues related to environmental and occupational health and safety;
  • To Serve as a clearinghouse for gathering and disseminating information and providing leadership related to environmental and occupational health education;
  • To serve as an academic center of excellence dedicated to providing practical information to help preserve and protect public health, safety and the environment, and;
  • To enhance regional environmental health and safety through grass-roots, citizen-focused education.

Center for Health Policy

Dr. Ed Baker

Center Director:
Ed Baker

The Center for Health Policy (CHP) is a research unit within the College of Health Sciences that conducts health science research and collaborates in the development of innovative health policy in Idaho. CHP is comprised of faculty and students from the College of Health Sciences and other academic units of the university. In addition, CHP also partners with governmental agencies, non-profits and the private sector in conducting health science research.


To be recognized as the regional partner of choice for interdisciplinary health research and policy analysis.


The Center for Health Policy is a health sciences research organization providing expertise in:

  • Research addressing health cost, quality and access;
  • Evaluation of programs and policies;
  • Management of grants and projects.
  • Values/Principles
  • Impartial and balanced services.
  • Focus on the customer.
  • On time, on budget, high quality.

Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research

Ron Pfeiffer

Ron Pfeiffer Center Co-Director 

Tyler Brown, Center Co-Director

Tyler Brown, Center Co-Director

The Boise State University Center for Orthopaedic and Biomechanics Research (COBR) is a partnership between the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Kinesiology.


The mission of COBR is to advance understanding of the mechanical and neuromuscular characteristics of human movement through basic science, engineering, clinical research and education.

Center for Physical Activity and Sport

photo of center director Laura Jones Petranek

Center Director:
Laura Jones Petranek

The Center for Physical Activity and Sport (CPAS) seeks to promote the physical, psychological and social benefits of physical activity and sport among youth and adolescents.  Our interrelated aim – research, outreach, services – provide an opportunity to gather scientific data, share best practices with the community and improve the sport and physical activity experiences of all participants in youth sport.


The Center for Physical Activity and Sport (CPAS) seeks to promote the physical, psychological and social benefits of physical activity and sport among youth and adolescents.  Our interrelated aim – research, outreach, services – provide an opportunity to gather scientific data, share best practices with the community and improve the sport and physical activity experiences of all participants in youth sport.


  • Conduct and disseminate research that systematically investigates sport and physical activity settings to better understand the experiences and outcomes associated with its participants
  • Provide community outreach by offering research-driven educational programs, interventions and seminars that include practical strategies for implementing sport and physical activity opportunities
  • Offer fee-based services to those interested in improving sport and physical activity participation and associated outcomes

Center for the Study of Aging

Sarah Toevs

Center Director: Sarah Toevs

The Center for the Study of Aging’s multidisciplinary approach to aging offers a comprehensive learning experience with a focus on community engagement. Activities of the Center are guided by the philosophy that aging is a lifetime endeavor. Aging is not a condition to be treated or an event that happens at a particular age, but rather a process that unfolds over the course of one’s life. This life span perspective creates a wide array of opportunities to promote healthy aging that recognize the interrelatedness of systems and supports. We value the need for research, advocacy, and collaboration in our efforts to assure that everyone has the opportunity to age well.

Vision and Mission

The Center serves as a catalyst for change, bringing together members of the community, researchers, and clinicians to help people lead longer and more fulfilling lives.

Our mission is to advance the well-being of older people by assuring that the university, our communities and our society prepare for the coming social revolution: the aging of the population. Such preparation requires research, education, and collaboration to:

  • increase awareness of aging-related issues
  • produce knowledge about how to improve quality of life as we age
  • foster expertise among faculty, policy makers, and community organizations
  • promote expertise and careers in aging

Curl Agricultural Health Lab

Cynthia Curl

Lab Director:
Cynthia Curl

The Curl Agricultural Health Lab is located in the Environmental Health and Research Building, Room 3106, and is a part of the School of Allied Health Sciences, within the College of Health Sciences. The laboratory is approximately 600 square feet, equipped with a 6 ft fume hood, two sinks, laboratory-grade tables, piped-in compressed air, lockable storage cabinets, and a typical complement of laboratory equipment infrastructure and safety devices.


To improve the health and safety of agricultural workers and their communities and to aid consumers in making informed decisions about what they eat and what they feed their families.

The Human Performance Lab

Shawn Simonson

Lab Director:
Shawn Simonson

The Human Performance Laboratory at Boise State University is a facility designated to teach, conduct research, and provide service to faculty, staff, students, and individuals in the community.

Athlete Performance Academy (APA) relies on age-appropriate training to create a model-learning environment to help athletes excel, all the while giving them tools to help improve their training for years beyond their time with us.

The Human Performance Laboratory is located on the first floor of the Health Services/Norco building, 1529 Belmont Street, on the Boise State University Campus.  For more information call (208) 426-5518 or (208) 426-4270.

Among the physiological and fitness parameters measured in the laboratory are:

  • cardiorespiratory endurance (maximal oxygen uptake),
  • anaerobic power,
  • muscular fitness (strength and endurance),
  • muscular flexibility,
  • body composition,
  • pulmonary function,
  • resting and stress electrocardiography,
  • agility,
  • balance,
  • coordination,
  • power,
  • reaction time, and
  • speed.


To EXPLORE the factors and limits of Human Performance.
To EVALUATE Human Performance.
To EDUCATE students and practitioners of Human Performance.
To ENHANCE Human Performance.

The Institute for the Study of Addiction

Diana Doumas

Institute Director:
Diana Doumas

The Institute for the Study of Addiction is a joint endeavor of the Colleges of Education and Health Sciences, providing coordinated and complementary information dissemination, training and professional development opportunities, and research and program evaluation services for addictions prevention and treatment professionals and organizations at Boise State and in the community.  Given the insidious foothold of addictions in the American population, the ongoing health risks associated with addictions, and the infusion of government funding available to address these issues, cooperative study of addiction is of vital importance.


  • Enhance opportunities for Boise State University addictions related training in the community, state, and region, and streamline current Boise State University programming in addictions and substance abuse prevention and treatment,
  • Expand information dissemination to meet growing needs in the Treasure Valley, state, and region, and
  • Directly contribute to the University’s mission of a Metropolitan Research University of Distinction through research and program evaluation initiatives.

The Idaho Regional Alcohol Drug Awareness Resource (RADAR) Center

The Idaho RADAR Center provides free information about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs to Idaho residents only. The Center, a Boise State University program, is administered by the Institute for the Study of Addiction in conjunction with the College of Education & the College of Health Sciences. It includes a Video Lending Library of over 900 titles and functions as a statewide information clearinghouse and resource referral center.

Motor Behavior and Biomechanics Lab

Lab Director Laura Jones Petranek

Lab Director
Laura Jones Petranek

The Kinesiology Department has renovated a new lab space to facilitate the collaboration between Biomechanics and Motor Behavior teaching and research. The Motor Behavior and Biomechanics Lab allows undergraduate and graduate students to discover how research in the area of human movement is applicable to teaching, coaching, rehabilitation and performance. Dr. Petranek has developed a new interdisciplinary course in qualitative analysis. Dr. Petranek is also working with graduate students who have an interest in solving real-world problems spanning the disciplines of biomechanics, motor learning & motor development.

Exposure Science Lab


The central mission of the Exposure Science Lab is to better human health and preserve quality of life through the evaluation of exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents.

Organizing Theme

The principle theme of our laboratory is to utilize current technologies to monitor and assess exposure to airborne contaminants and apply innovative control strategies to safeguard human health.

Interprofessional Collaborations

Research performed in our laboratory is enhanced through interprofessional collaborations with experts in both the physical and behavioral/social sciences. Recent collaborations include partnerships with exposure scientists at the University of Washington and Montana Tech and electrical engineers in Boise State’s Department of Electrical Engineering.

Research Aims

The aims of our research are to (1) evaluate airborne exposure risk, (2) apply innovative control strategies to prevent/mitigate/reduce risk and (3) provide sound and cost-effective recommendations to ensure that human exposures to airborne contaminants do not adversely affect human health.