Julie Burland

Director of Research, Assistant Research Professor



Director of Research, UConn Institute for Sports Medicine

Assistant Research Professor, Department of Kinesiology


Postdoc: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Spaulding National Running Center, Harvard Medical School, 2019-2021

Ph.D. University of Connecticut, 2019

M.S. University of Kentucky, 2014

B.S. University of Connecticut, 2012


Julie Burland’s research background is in the evaluation and recovery of neuromuscular function and psychosocial factors influencing postoperative and return to sport outcomes after ACL reconstruction. Specifically her work has proposed the presence of learned helplessness, a psychobehavioral phenomenon, and its direct link to neurological alterations after ACLR. This work also explores how learned helplessness may influence other clinically relevant outcomes such as lower extremity biomechanics, quadriceps health and perceived function. Developing this knowledge base will help to inform future rehabilitation practices and return to physical activity progressions after ACL reconstruction. Her long-term career objective is to continue to produce research that will help advance clinical rehabilitation science and effectively translate this knowledge to clinicians in order to promote lower extremity joint health, psychosocial well-being and long-term quality of life across active populations.

Funded Research:

Cumulative Load & Cartilage Biomarker Responses Across an Athletic Season

Understanding Return-to-Sport Factors Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Mixed Methods Study

Exploring Cartilage Physiology and Mechanisms for Reducing Burden of Post-traumatic Osteoarthritis

Selected Publications in the last 5 years:

White MS, Horton ZW, Burland JP, Seeley MK, Lepley LK. The Utility of Functional Data Analyses to Reveal Between-Limb Asymmetries in Those with a History of ACLR. Journal of Athletic Training. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-0081.20

Burland JP, Outerleys JB, Lattermann C, Davis IS. Reliability of Wearable Sensors to Assess Impact Metrics during Sport Specific Tasks. J Sports Sci. doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2020.1823131

Lepley LK, Davi SM, Burland JP, Lepley AS. Muscle atrophy after traumatic joint injury: implications for clinical practice. Sports Health. 2020:1941738120944256. Epub 2020/09/01. doi: 10.1177/1941738120944256. PubMed PMID: 32866081.

Burland JP, Howard JS, Lepley AS, DiStefano LJ, Lepley LK. What are our patients really telling us? Psychological constructs associated with patient-reported outcomes after ACLR. J Athl Train. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-120-19.

Lepley LK, Davi SM, Hunt ER, Burland JP, White MS, McCormick GY, Butterfield TA. Skeletal muscles subjected to eccentrically or concentrically biased exercise exhibit similar morphology with disparate hypertrophic responses. J Athl Train. 10.4085/1062-6050-174-19. PubMed PMID: PMID: 32196379.

Burland JP, Lepley AS, Cormier M, DiStefano LJ, Lepley LK. Examining the Relationship Between Neuroplasticity and Learned Helplessness After ACLR: Early Versus Late Recovery. J Sport Rehabil. 2020:1-8. Epub 2020/02/09. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2019-0379. PubMed PMID: 32035415.

Burland JP, Lepley AS, Frechette L, Lepley LK. Protracted alterations in muscle activation strategies and knee mechanics in patients after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2020. Epub 2020/01/04. doi: 10.1007/s00167-019-05833-4. PubMed PMID: 31897547.

Kostyun RO, Burland JP, Kostyun KJ, Milewski MD, Nissen CW. Male and Female Adolescent Athletes’ Readiness to Return to Sport After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury and Reconstruction. Clin J Sport Med. 2019. Epub 2019/11/20. doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000751. PubMed PMID: 31743222. 

Burland JP, Lepley AS, DiStefano LJ, Lepley LK. Alterations in physical and neurocognitive wellness across recovery after ACLR: A preliminary look into learned helplessness. Phys Ther Sport. 2019;40:197-207. Epub 2019/10/08. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.09.009. PubMed PMID: 31590123. 

Scarneo-Miller SE, Sorge JE, Beltz EM, Martinez JC, Root HJ, Burland JP, et al. The relationship between single-limb squat and jump-cut kinematics. Sports Biomech. 2019:1-12. doi: 10.1080/14763141.2019.1674913. PubMed PMID: 31709890.

Burland JP, Toonstra JL, Howard JS. Psychosocial Barriers After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Clinical Review of Factors Influencing Postoperative Success. Sports Health. 2019;11(6):528-34. doi: 10.1177/1941738119869333. PubMed PMID: 31469614; PubMed Central PMCID: PMCPMC6822210.

Burland JP, Lepley AS, DiStefano LJ, Lepley LK. No shortage of disagreement between biomechanical and clinical hop symmetry after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2019;68:144-50. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2019.05.033. PubMed PMID: 31212209.

Lepley AS, Grooms DR, Burland JP, Davi SM, Kinsella-Shaw JM, Lepley LK. Systemic Alterations in Quadriceps Muscle Function Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Neural and Morphological Considerations. 2019. Exp Brain Res. doi: 10.1007/s00221-019-05499-x. PubMed PMID: 30852644.

Burland JP, Lepley AS, Cormier M, DiStefano LJ, Arciero R, Lepley LK. Learned Helplessness After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: An Altered Neurocognitive State? Sports Med. 2019;49(5):647-57. doi: 10.1007/s40279-019-01054-4. PubMed PMID: 30659498.

Lepley LK, Grooms DR, Burland JP, Davi SM, Mosher JL, Cormier ML, & Lepley AS. Eccentric cross-exercise after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Novel case series to enhance neuroplasticity. Phys Ther Sport. 2018; 34:55-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2018.08.010. PubMed PMID: 30223234

Root HJ, Valovich McLeod TC, Beltz EM, Burland JP, DiStefano LJ. The Relationship Between Physical Literacy Measures of Balance and the Balance Error Scoring System in Youth Sports Participants. Athletic Training and Sports Health Care. 2018;10(6):270-276.org/10.3928/19425864-20180918-02

Burland JP, Kostyun RO, Kostyun KJ, Solomito M, Nissen C, Milewski MD. Clinical Outcome Measures and Return-to-Sport Timing in Adolescent Athletes After Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction. J Athl Train. 2018. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-302-16. PubMed PMID: 29847160.

Werner JL, Burland JP, Mattacola CG, Toonstra JL, English RA, Howard JS. Decision to Return to Sport Participation After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part II: Self-Reported and Functional Performance Outcomes. J Athl Train. 2018. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-328-16. PubMed PMID: 29775379.

Burland JP, Toonstra JL, Werner JL, Mattacola CG, Howell DM, & Howard JS (2018). Decision to Return to Sport After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Part I: A Qualitative Investigation of Psychosocial Factors. Journal of Athletic Training. 2018. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-313-16. PubMed PMID: 29505304.


  • Stepping Strong Center for Trauma Innovation Explorer Grant, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2019
  • Dougla J. Casa Resarch Award, University of Connecticut 2019
  • PFATS Ed Block Foundation Scholarship, National Athletic Trainers Research and Education Foundation, 2019
  • Student Congress Travel Grant, International Society of Biomechanics, 2019
  • Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, University of Connecticut, 2018
  • Pescatello Family Endowed Scholarship, University of Connecticut, 2018
  • International Society of Biomechanics Student Travel Award, National Science Foundation, 2018
  • Biomechanics Interest Group Student Research Award, American College of Sports Medicine, 2018
  • Doctoral Student Travel Award, University of Connecticut, 2018
  • Hans Carson Hercules Memorial Scholarship Award, University of Connecticut, 2012


  • Osteoarthritis Prevention Related to Sport, Exercise, and Physical Activity
  • Osteoarthritis Research Society International
  • International Cartilage Regeneration & Joint Preservation Society
  • International Society of Biomechanics
  • American Society of Biomechanics
  • International Society of Biomechanics Motor Control Group
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • Athletic Trainers’ Osteoarthritis Consortium
  • University of Connecticut’s Institute for Collaboration on Health, Intervention, and Policy
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association
  • ACSM New England Chapter
  • National Athletic Trainers’ Association
Julie Burland
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