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Driven by science. Powered by humans.

Transforming health outcomes through the scientific study of human performance
Oklahoma State University is harnessing the university’s cutting-edge research expertise in human performance and nutrition science, coupling it with advanced knowledge from our elite strength and conditioning staff and leveraging it with leading industry partner relationships to create a first-of-its-kind, university-based research institute.

A new era of innovation

Revolutionizing the way we think about health
The Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute will utilize the scientific discoveries gained through student-athlete experiences to inform and create therapies and approaches that can help mitigate systematic health threats in the broader Oklahoma population.
Our mission is to discover, develop and deliver scientific knowledge to empower people of all abilities to realize their optimal performance.

Lance Walker

Executive Director
Lance Walker is a licensed physical therapist and an internationally recognized expert in fusing sports performance, sports science and sports medicine for athletes of all ages, ability levels and disciplines. His director position was recently endowed through a gift from OSU alumni Rick and Gail Muncrief.
Walker said the new institute will provide practical and research-supported solutions that can trigger transformational changes to health outcomes across Oklahoma. These solutions will be created using research and information already collected from OSU's student-athletes, whose nutrition, physical activity and other biometrics are closely monitored while they train and compete.

Enriching the student experience

An opportunity to learn, research and grow
Through immersive learning and mentorships, the institute provides students with the resources needed to develop their skills as the next generation of human performance, nutrition and health care researchers, educators and practitioners. HPNRI will help students prepare for the workforce and enrich their professional development throughout their careers. Students’ knowledge and experience will be elevated through a vast network of transdisciplinary experts, advanced technology, and state-of-the-art facilities.

The Land-Grant's three-part mission for the 21st centuryThe Human Performance and Nutrition Research Institute will leverage OSU's tripartite mission of research, teaching and extension to impact those we serve


Using scientific discoveries derived from athletic performance research populations, OSU will extend leading-edge learning to impact health across the state of Oklahoma and beyond. A key component of the institute’s success is wrap-around athletic performance research that will bring together OSU’s existing biometric, biomechanical, nutritional, motivational teaching, genetic and physiological research in one ecosystem to create predictive and therapeutic innovations in training, recovery, injury reduction and mental readiness.


Student impact of the institute will have an extensive reach that will grow over time. It will create a myriad of opportunities for interdisciplinary learning across OSU’s existing graduate and undergraduate programs. Students across multiple disciplines will have access to unique opportunities that will allow them to conduct research and work alongside athletes and industry partners. They will gain invaluable real-world experience in their field with unprecedented access to a functional and successful athletic department that will instantly make them competitive in the workforce.


The institute will leverage OSU’s highly successful ECHO program, which virtually extends deep medical expertise across the entire state. The creation of targeted ECHO lines focuses on equipping rural Oklahoma public school leaders with vital learning on human performance. It will ultimately provide virtual sports trainers in rural communities to improve the health and well-being of students across Oklahoma. The information will also be dispersed to primary care doctors, pediatricians, specialists and any number of constituents who can improve the level of care to their patients throughout Oklahoma.

HPNRI Milestones

At a Glance
December 2022
• Renowned industry expert Lance Walker appointed to lead institute.
February 2023
• Plans unveiled for new state-of-the-art facility on Stillwater campus.
April 2023
• Inaugural HPNRI symposium is held with faculty and thought leaders from across the OSU System in attendance.
• Selection of building architect for facility.
May 2023
• Athletic Training - Sports Medicine Project ECHO line is launched in collaboration with OSU-CHS.
• Formation of working groups in strategic research areas of transdisciplinary collaboration.
June-August 2023
• Weekly Special Interest Group meetings with OSU faculty, staff and departments building HPNRI initial research strategy.
October 2023
• Oklahoma Health Forum welcomed health care leaders to explore new ideas to improve health outcomes across the state.
• Legislative Interim Study Presentation to the House Public Health Committee on improving physical activity and health outcomes with priority placed on physical education in our schools.
Inaugural HPNRI Symposium

Research for the greater good

Leveraging the study of optimizing human performance to transform health

Developing preventative therapeutic strategies to combat obesity and chronic disease

Providing practical, data-based solutions with the goal of improving health outcomes across Oklahoma

Embarking on a journey of discovery

Check out the videos below to learn more

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National Youth Sports Strategy Champion

NYSS Champions work to promote youth sports in their communities and help achieve the NYSS vision: that one day, all youth will have the opportunity, motivation, and access to play sports. 
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