Sarah J. de la Motte


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Military and Emergency Medicine
Scientific Director, Injury Prevention Research Laboratory
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention, Human Performance Optimization, Readiness
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Office Phone


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Injury Prevention Research Laboratory, USU, Bethesda, MD 2008-2012
MPH, Concentration Epidemiology & Biostatistics, USU, Bethesda, MD 2010-2012
PhD in Rehabilitation & Movement Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 2004-2008
MA in Athletic Training, Concentration Biomechanics, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 2000-2002
BA in Sports Science, Concentration Athletic Training, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA 1996-2000


Dr. Sarah de la Motte is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Military and Emergency Medicine and Consortium for Health and Military Performance (CHAMP) at the Uniformed Service University, and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. CHAMP is a Department of Defense-designated Center of Excellence for Human Performance Optimization Translation. Dr. de la Motte’s work focuses on human performance, musculoskeletal injury and injury prevention in military service members. She has been an investigator for numerous large-scale multi-site prospective cohort studies in several military populations, including deploying Marines and basic trainees. She is a member of several Department of Defense Working Groups focused on Warrior Readiness, Human Performance Optimization and Research to Practice, and Total Force Fitness, including the US Marine Corps’ Force Fitness Instructor Initiative. She is also a core member of the International Movement Screening and Interventions Group, established through the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis, which aims to develop international consensus on the use of movement screening tools and interventions to develop a strong evidence-based approach for research and clinical practice. Dr. de la Motte holds degrees in Athletic Training, Biomechanics, Rehabilitation & Movement Science and Public Health and has been a Certified Athletic Trainer since 2000.

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Co-PI, Hormonal Contraceptive Use and Stress Fracture Risk during Entry-Level Military Training. Funding from MOMRP JPC-5. The overall goal of this study is to leverage an existing, large-scale military health database to assess the relationship between different routes of hormonal contraception administration and stress fracture incidence in early-career female Service Members.

USU PI, A Wearable Spine Health System for Military Readiness Assessment. Funding JWMRP R&D Award. The purpose of this study is to characterize and explore the utility of heterogeneous digital low back and neck health information collected on military populations with the Conity device, a technology platform that captures data from a novel wearable motion sensor system and digital questionnaires.

DoD PI, Active Duty & Veterans’ Holistic Musculoskeletal Management and Enhancement (ADVet HoMME). Funding DoD/VA Joint Incentive Fund. The primary objective of this program evaluation is to evaluate the delivery of, learning efficacy of, and satisfaction with the ADVet-HOMME program, a collaboration between the Dayton VA and USU CHAMP. For providers, we will evaluate delivery of, learning efficacy of, and satisfaction with the standardized MSKD assessment education and training program for DoD and VA prima

PI, RITE-TRACC II: The Effects of a Targeted Injury Reduction Program at U.S. Marine Corps West Coast Entry Level Training. Funding from MOMRP JPC-5. Our overall objective is to develop a continuous and consistent strategy for injury risk mitigation in early career Marines, first through identifying perceived and real barriers to prompt injury reporting by Marine Corps Recruits, School of Infantry-West Students, Drill Instructors, and Combat Instructors.

Co-Chair, MOMRP Joint Program Committee-5 Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Workgroup

Co-Chair, Military Injury Prevention Research to Practice Working Group

Military Task Group Lead, International Movement Screening Workgroup, Centre for Sport, Exercise & Osteoarthritis, Arthritis Research UK

Invited Member, National Athletic Trainers' Association Athletic Training and Public Health Taskforce

Basic Science Officer, USU Faculty Senate, MEM Representative

Member, MD/PhD Advisory Committee, School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University

Representative Bibliography

Bullock G, Dartt CE, Ricker EA, .... de la Motte SJ†, Rhon DI†. Barriers and Facilitators to Implementation of Musculoskeletal Injury Mitigation Programmes for Military Service Members Around the World: A Scoping Review. Inj Prev. Published Online First: 23 August 2023. doi: 10.1136/ip-2023-044905.

de la Motte SJ, Gribbin TC, Deuster PA. Optimizing Musculoskeletal Performance Through Injury Prevention. J Spec Oper Med. 2018;17(4):97-101.

de la Motte SJ, Welsh MM, Castle V, et al. Comparing Self-Reported Physical Activity and Sedentary Time to Objective Fitness Measures in a Military Cohort. J Sci Med Sport. 2018(pii: S1440-2440(18)30181-6).

McBratney CM, de la Motte SJ. Collaboration Needed on Human Performance Optimization for Combat Athletes. Mil Med. 2018;182(7-8):143-145.

Whittaker JL, Booysen N, de la Motte S, et al. Predicting Sport and Occupational Lower Extremity Injury Risk Through Movement Quality Screening: A Systematic Review. Br J Sports Med. 2017;51(7):580-585.

Lisman PJ, de la Motte SJ, Gribbin TC, Jaffin DP, Murphy K, Deuster PA. A Systematic Review of the Association Between Physical Fitness and Musculoskeletal Injury Risk: Part 1 - Cardiorespiratory Endurance. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(6):1744-1757.

de la Motte SJ, Lisman P, Gribbin TC, Murphy K, Deuster PA. A Systematic Review of the Association Between Physical Fitness and Musculoskeletal Injury Risk: Part 3 - Flexibility, Power, Speed, Balance, and Agility. J Strength Cond Res. 2017.

de la Motte SJ, Gribbin TC, Lisman P, Murphy K, Deuster PA. Systematic Review of the Association Between Physical Fitness and Musculoskeletal Injury Risk: Part 2 - Muscular Endurance and Muscular Strength. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(11):3218-3234.