James R. Funk

James FunkJames R. Funk
Laboratory and Research Specialist

Dr. Funk has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of biomechanics.  For his master’s degree, he studied the effect of diabetes on fracture healing in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory at the UVa Medical School.  He went on to study ankle injury mechanisms in human cadavers at the Automobile Safety Laboratory (predecessor to the CAB) at UVa, where he obtained his PhD.  After leaving UVa, Dr. Funk worked as a consultant at Biodynamic Research Corporation in San Antonio, Texas for 12 years.  While there, he investigated hundreds of real world injury accidents of all kinds and conducted a wide variety of biomechanics and accident reconstruction research.  In 2014, Dr. Funk returned to UVa, where he continues to consult and conduct research.  He’s glad to be back!  His work now involves many areas of biomechanics, but focuses on helmets, head protection, rollover crashes, ejection, neck injuries, lower extremity injuries, and pedestrian protection.




  • PhD – University of Virginia, Biomedical Engineering
  • MSE – University of Virginia, Biomedical Engineering
  • BSE – Duke University, Biomedical Engineering


Research Interests

  • Head injury / concussion
  • Rollover crashes / ejection
  • Lower extremity injuries
  • Accident reconstruction


Awards & Affiliations

  • Young Achiever Award, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
  • Best Scientific Paper Award, Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine
  • Scientific Coordinator, NFL Head, Neck, and Spine Engineering Subcommittee


Selected Publications

  • Comparison of Quasistatic Bumper Testing to Dynamic Full Vehicle Testing for Reconstructing Low Speed Collisions, SAE International Journal of Passenger Cars – Mechanical Systems. 2014; Paper 2014-01-0481.
  • Comparison of Risk Factors for Cervical Spine, Head, Serious, and Fatal Injury in Rollover Crashes, Accident Analysis and Prevention. 2012; 45:67-74.
  • Validation of Concussion Risk Curves for Collegiate Football Players Derived from HITS Data, Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 2012; 40(1):79-89.
  • Ankle Injury Mechanisms: Lessons Learned From Cadaveric Studies, Clinical Anatomy. 2011; 24:350-361.
  • Head and Neck Loading in Everyday and Vigorous Activities, Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 2011; 39(2):766-776.


Other Interests

  • Mountain biking, basketball, snowboarding, camping, playing music (guitar, banjo, harmonica, didgeridoo)