Noble Lecture Presenter
Cheri Blauwet, MD is an Assistant Professor in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, where she also serves as the Principle Investigator for the Kelley Adaptive Sports Research Institute. She is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine and completed her residency training in PM&R at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where she served as Chief Resident, followed by a sports medicine fellowship at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.
Dr. Blauwet is also a former Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, competing for the United States Team in three Paralypmic Games (Sydney '00, Athens '04, Beijing '08) and bringing home a total of seven Paralympic medals. She is also a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and has been nominated for the ESPY Award, the Laureus World Sports Award, and Women's Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year.
Translating her background as an athlete to the clinic setting, Dr. Blauwet now serves as the Chairperson of the International Paralympic Committee’s Medical Commission and serves on the Board of Directors for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as well as numerous other leadership roles throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Movement. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Harvard Medical School Harold Amos Faculty Diversity Award and was named one Boston’s “Ten Outstanding Young Leaders” by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. She has become a global advocate for the use of sport and physical activity to promote healthy lifestyles for all individuals with disabilities – exemplified by speaking on the floor of the UN in April, 2015, for the UN International Day of Sport for development and Peace, alongside Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, IOC President Thomas Bach, and IPC President Sir Philip Craven. She has given many talks throughout the world and was a guest at the White House as well as the keynote speaker at the Boston celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Walter R. Thompson is Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and a tenured Regents’ Professor of Kinesiology and Health (College of Education & Human Development) and in the School of Public Health, and in the Department of Nutrition (Byrdine F. Lewis College of Nursing and Health Professions) at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) certified Program Director®, ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist®, formerly licensed Clinical Exercise Physiologist (State of Louisiana) and formerly licensed Clinical Laboratory Director (State of Georgia). Prior to joining the faculty at Georgia State University in 1994, Thompson was a tenured Professor of Exercise Science and Director of the Laboratory for Applied Physiology at the University of Southern Mississippi and Program Director for the Center for Cardiac Rehabilitation and Health Enhancement at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago. He has also held adjunct academic appointments at Northeastern Illinois University and at George Williams College. Thompson has been the Chairman of the ACSM Committee on Certification and Education, Chairman of the ACSM International Relations Committee, Chairman of the ACSM American Fitness Index, Chairman of the ACSM Publications Committee, and the Founding Chairman of the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences for the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). In June, 2016, he became President-Elect of ACSM. Dr. Thompson served as ACSM President for 2017-2018 and now serves as the Immediate Past-President.
Thompson has served on the ACSM Board of Trustees and was twice elected to its Administrative Council. He has served as the Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Fitness Facilities Standards for NSF International where he also serves as a member of the NSF Council of Public Health Consultants. He has given lectures on health-related topics in 26 different countries (some multiple times) on the continents of Europe, Africa, North America, South America (including Central America), and Asia. He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and a Fellow of the American Association for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Thompson also serves on the Sports Science Committee of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) where he is charged with the coordination of international research projects at all IPC sanctioned events. Thompson has published over 100 research-based, peer-reviewed articles on many different topics and has received over $25 million in funding for his various initiatives. He has authored or has edited 13 books. He served as Senior Editor for ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (8th edition). His current interests include wellness coaching as a primary mechanism for behavior change and the integration of sport and physical activity for people with disabilities. Because of his personal interest in at-risk kids living in the inner city, he serves as the Executive Director of the After-School All-Stars Atlanta, a comprehensive after-school initiative for middle school-aged children now in nine sites with an average daily attendance of 3000 and 1000 in summer academies. In 2006 Thompson received the prestigious Georgia State University College of Education & Human Development Faculty Service Award. That same year his program was selected by the Georgia State University President to receive the “Most Outstanding University Program” award. In 2008, the After-School All-Stars was selected to receive the “Regional Excellence Award” by the Atlanta Civic League, chaired by Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and is the recipient of the 2008 Atlanta Partners for Education A+ Summa Cum Laude Award. In 2009, his program received the prestigious Hosea William Award for Community Activism. In 2012, Thompson received the Georgia State University Exceptional Service Award.
Nicol van Dyk is a physiotherapist and clinical reasearcher at the Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital in Doha, Qatar. He graduated with a BSc in Physiotherapy from Stellenbosch University in 2005, and completed his MSc in Orthopaedic Manipulative Therapy in 2010. He completed his PhD at Ghent University, Belgium in April 2018 having investigated risk factors for hamstring injuries in professional football players.Having worked in a number of different sporting environments, including cricket, rugby, and football, he worked as sports physiotherapist at the Sport Science Institute of South Africa before moving to Qatar in 2013. He currently occupies a role within the Aspetar injury and illness prevention programme (ASPREV), and continues the clinical care of athletes. Nicol is an associate editor and editorial board member of British journal of sports medicine (BJSM), and enthusiastic about the role of social media in the dissemination of scientific evidence and research knowledge. As a clinical researcher with a special interest in muscle injuries andinjury prevention, he has great appreciation for integrated healthcare and evidence-based medicine.