Research Team

Eric Hurwitz DC, PhD (USA)

Dr. Eric Hurwitz is Associate Professor and Graduate Chair of Epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences of John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. He graduated from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (Southern California University of Health Sciences) in 1988 and subsequently received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Epidemiology from UCLA. Dr. Hurwitz’s research interests include the epidemiology and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders and chronic diseases; the interrelationships of psychosocial, behavioral, and immune factors in the etiology and prognosis of physical and psychological pain; the safety and effectiveness of therapeutic and preventive interventions; and methods in observational and clinical epidemiology. He has served as principal or co-investigator on several pioneering epidemiologic and health services research projects, including randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews of chiropractic care and other interventions for low-back and neck pain.

Dr. Hurwitz has authored or coauthored six book chapters and more than 80 scientific articles in leading medical, chiropractic, and public health journals. The American Chiropractic Association named him 2003 Researcher of the Year, and with coauthors in 2006, received medical and interventional science awards from the North American Spine Society. Dr. Hurwitz and coauthors won the ISSLS Prize from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine in 2006 and 2009.

Dr. Hurwitz recently served on the Scientific Secretariat of The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders, and is currently a member of the National Institutes of Health’s Behavioral Medicine, Interventions and Outcomes Study Section, Center for Scientific Review.

Jan Hartvigsen DC, PhD (Denmark)

Dr. Jan Hartvigsen is Professor and Head of the Research Unit for Clinical Biomechanics at the Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics at the University of Southern Denmark and Senior Researcher at the Nordic Institute of Chiropractic and Clinical Biomechanics. He is also Co-Director of the Graduate School of Physical Activity and Musculoskeletal Health at the University of Southern Denmark and Adjunct Research Professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University, Minneapolis, MN, USA. Dr Hartvigsen oversees a comprehensive research program dealing with the epidemiological, basic science, clinical, and health service aspects of musculoskeletal disorders with a focus on spine pain and disability at the University of Southern Denmark.

Dr. Hartvigsen is a Section Editor for Bio Med Central Musculoskeletal Disorders and he is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics and also Chiropractic and Manual therapies. He is a member of the International Organizing Committee of the Forum for Research on Low Back Pain in Primary Care. He has served as expert advisor to the Danish Board of Health in health technology assessments dealing with back pain and shoulder surgery, and he recently served as expert advisor to the Norwegian government in issues relating to chiropractic education.

Dr Hartvigsen has authored or co-authored over 60 papers including 11 systematic reviews in leading health science scientific journals. He has presented research at many conferences in Europe, North America and Australia often as an invited speaker.

Deborah Kopansky-Giles DC, FCCS, MSc (Canada)

Dr. Deborah Kopansky-Giles is a chiropractor/ clinician scientist on staff in the Department of Family and Community Medicine (DFCM), St. Michael’s Hospital and a professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Department of Graduate Education and Research. Deborah divides her time between developing and managing education and research initiatives in the department at the Hospital, conducting research on models of care delivery and interprofessional education, consulting and lecturing internationally, publishing peer reviewed papers, and volunteering in professional offices and in private practice. At present, she is the principal investigator for two large health integration projects and several interprofessional education research initiatives. Her current Masters thesis is examining interprofessional collaboration competencies in health professional education.

Dr. Kopansky-Giles, has been involved on numerous local, national and international advisory groups, councils, committees, conference planning committees, working groups and networks over the past two decades. She represents Canada on the World Federation of Chiropractic and the profession worldwide on the WHO Bone and Joint Decade. As well Dr. Kopansky-Giles is on the editorial review board for three peer-reviewed journals.

John Mayer, DC, PhD (USA)

John Mayer, DC, PhD is the Lincoln College Endowed Chair in Biomechanical Research in the College of Medicine, and Associate Professor in the School of Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of South Florida, as well as Adjunct Associate Professor at New York Chiropractic College. He obtained a DC degree from the National College of Chiropractic and a PhD in Exercise Science from Syracuse University, where he was awarded the 2001 “Doctoral Prize” for his exemplary research in MRI assessment of the lumbar muscles during exercise and occupational lifts.

Dr. Mayer has extensive clinical and research experience in physical rehabilitation, applied exercise physiology, and therapeutic exercise, and has published and presented widely on these topics. He is currently principal investigator or co-principal investigator on federally-funded research studies assessing targeted physical exercise interventions for reduction of risk for back injury in firefighters and military personnel.

Maria Hondras, DC, MPH (USA)

Dr. Maria Hondras is Associate Professor at the Palmer College of Chiropractic, Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research. She graduated from the National College of Chiropractic (National University of Health Sciences) in 1989 and obtained her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1993. She has served several leadership roles in the American Public Health Association Chiropractic Health Care Section and the Cochrane Collaboration Complementary Medicine Field, and she serves as grant reviewer and peer reviewer for several national and international organizations and professional journals.

Dr. Hondras has more than 20 years experience teaching critical appraisal of the literature and fundamentals of epidemiology in chiropractic curricula, graduate and post-graduate programs. Since 1990, she has been involved with the management, design and oversight of clinical trials in chiropractic. She has conducted workshops in epidemiology, evidence-based medicine and trial management in North America, Europe and Australia. Since 2003, she has served on the Advisory Council for the Palmer College Clinical Research Graduate Program and taught several courses in this master’s level program while mentoring 9 graduate students.

Her current research interests include patient and healer experiences with spine care, including the bodily, emotional and contextual experiences during manual therapy encounters; and, community-based and culturally informed perspectives into the everyday lives of people living with and caring for people with muscle, bone and joint conditions.

Michelle Boyle, BMath, MES (Canada)

Michelle photo 2Michelle has conducted social and environmental research in a variety of contexts and cultural settings.  As Research Coordinator for World Spine Care her main roles are to implement and manage data collection at the clinical level and to facilitate the organization’s research efforts.

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