Neel Rao, MPH
Research Assistant, NCAA Injury Surveillance Program
Neel Rao has served the Datalys Center as a Research Assistant primarily with the NCAA Injury Surveillance Program since July 2022. His primary day-to-day roles within the Injury Surveillance Program include assisting with enrolling new participants, as well as providing support to already participating athletic trainers. He also provides support to the program director, Dr. Avinash Chandran, by assisting in generating and auditing reports to various NCAA organizations, performing literature reviews, pulling and analyzing sport related exposure and injury data, database management and quality control, and dissemination of findings through abstracts, manuscripts, etc. Neel graduated from West Virginia University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology and a minor in Health Promotion. This degree is centered around the physical and mental factors that surround sport participation and performance. Following his undergraduate study, he briefly worked at the West Virginia Prevention Research Center as a Research Assistant. In 2022, he received his Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh. His research interests include:
· Physical activity and exercise.
· Healthy aging strategies.
· Low back pain- injuries, treatment, and prevention.
· Epidemiological methods.
Neel plans to pursue a doctoral degree in an epidemiology program in the coming years. He is motivated by increasing his skillset and hopes to conduct translational research that can not only further the scope of literature, but also provide meaningful findings to inform practitioners and the public. In his free time, Neel enjoys exercising, cooking, and playing guitar.