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Hyunjae Jeon, Ph.D.

A Kinesiology researcher investigating the future of physical rehabilitation.

Hyunjae Jeon wouldn’t say he’s the most athletic person — he’s had enough sports injuries to convince him of that — but he has an abundance of passion for academic research in the realm of physical health and athletic training. He holds a B.S. in Physical Education and an M.S. in Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation from Yonsei University, in Seoul, South Korea; an M.A. in Athletic Training from University of Nebraska at Omaha; and a Ph.D. in Biology from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. In McDaniel’s Kinesiology Department, Jeon teaches Human Anatomy and Biomechanics.
What made you interested in the field of Kinesiology?
I used to want to be a zoologist or a physician — I was an ambitious middle schooler. When I realized I didn’t like looking at blood, I turned to physical education. It was my father who first got me interested in sports rehabilitation, which I thought wouldn’t involve blood (it turned out to be the opposite). He tore his ACL playing basketball in his late 40s and almost lost his quadriceps from poor rehabilitation. That made me realize I was interested in athletic training, to help people be active without getting injured, which then led me into academic research.
What’s your research interest?
I study patellofemoral (knee) pain. My Ph.D. dissertation explores ultrasound as an affordable way to find early signs of arthritis, like biomechanical changes in cartilage. Finding new ways to identify arthritis may help us answer a chicken and the egg question: Is joint pain causing a biomechanical change by influencing how people use their joints, or are biomechanical changes causing the pain to begin with?
What do you hope students take away from your courses?
I want students to be able to critically appraise new research articles and determine whether or not to add methods into their arsenals. If they always rely on textbook knowledge from their time as a student, they’ll be stuck in the past when it comes to high-tech or AI diagnostics. I want them to try new technologies now, while it’s okay to mess up — they can’t do that with future patients, or they’ll lose clients. By teaching them anatomy and biomechanics, I hope to prepare them to do what athletic trainers, physical therapists, chiropractors, and occupational therapists are doing every day.

About Prof. Jeon

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology
Subject: Anatomy and Biomechanics
Department: Kinesiology

Outside of the Classroom


He is an avid tennis player.


Every year, he drives 20,000 miles on cross-country road trips and hopes to visit every national park in the U.S.


A major car enthusiast, his dream ride is a Porsche 911.