Feng Yang, PhD, Associate Professor

Email: fyang@gsu.edu | Curriculum Vita | Google Scholar

Dr. Yang received his doctoral degree in Human-machine and Environment Engineering (Ergonomics) from Beihang University. Prior to joining Georgia State University, he was an assistant professor in the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Yang and his research team conduct research related to fall prevention, motor disorders and rehabilitation. Currently, his research mainly concerns fall prevention among older adults and individuals with movement disorders (like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, etc.). Specifically, they are trying to investigate the underlying mechanisms of falls from the perspectives of biomechanics and motor control among healthy and pathological populations. They also work to develop novel yet cost-effective training paradigms, like vibration training, perturbation training, dance-based therapy, etc., to prevent falls from happening among individuals with elevated falling risk. Dr. Yang has published more than eighty articles in prestigious journals and his work has been funded by various agencies.

Caroline Simpkins, MS, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Associate

Email:claubacher1@student.gsu.edu | Google Scholar

Caroline Simpkins joined the Kinesiology Doctoral Program in 2019, and she is the inaugural Brains & Behavior Neuroscience Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology and Health. Caroline earned a B.S. in Exercise Science from Kennesaw State University and a M.S. in Exercise Science from Georgia State University. In 2019, Caroline was a lecturer for the Georgia Institute of Technology’s study abroad program in Berlin, Germany. Previous to her time as a biomechanics graduate student, Caroline was a professional ballerina for 10 years and a ballet instructor for 12 years. She taught students of all ages at several elite ballet schools including Atlanta Ballet, The Georgia Ballet, and North Atlanta Dance Academy. In 2022, Caroline was awarded the Scott Lilienfeld Injury Prevention Scholarship from Emory University and the Graduate Student Grant-in-Aid Award from the American Society of Biomechanics. Most recently, Caroline was awarded the GSU Dissertation Grant, and she was the sole awardee for the 2023 GSU William M. Suttle Fellowship. Caroline’s research interests include dance-based interventions, fall prevention, balance, and movement disorders.

Rebecca Ban, MS, PhD Candidate


Rebecca earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training from Appalachian State University and her Master of Science degree in Biomechanics from Georgia State University. Currently, Rebecca is a doctoral student in the Kinesiology Doctoral Program. Her research interests involve the validation of corrective exercises to prevent ACL injury and improve ACLR outcomes. Rebecca is also interested in developing novel gait retraining interventions for people with Parkinson’s disease.

Jiyun (Wendy) Ahn, MS, PhD Candidate


Jiyun Ahn joined the research group in spring 2021 as a doctoral student with a concentration in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation. She earned her M.S. degree in Exercise Science program at Georgia State University in 2020. Jiyun graduated from CHA University with a B.S. in Sports Medicine. As a graduate Research Assistant, she helps Dr. Yang’s research projects examining fall prevention in people with multiple sclerosis. Currently, she aims to finish her comprehensive project focusing on the effects of fat mass distribution on the body’s stability and fall risks among people with obesity.

Rebekah Buehler, MS, OTR/L, Doctoral Student


Rebekah earned her master degree in Allied Health Sciences in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Georgia in 2008. Rebekah is an experienced Occupational Therapist with a demonstrated history of working in hospitals, school systems, long-term and sub-acute rehabilitation, and home care settings. Over the course of her career, regardless of clinical setting or disease process, a primary focus as a geriatric rehabilitation practitioner has been fall prevention and safe performance of Activities of Daily Living. Rebekah entered Georgia State University doctoral program in 2018 to pursue her PhD in Kinesiology with a concentration in Biomechanics. As a Graduate Research Assistant in the Biomechanics Lab, Rebekah assists with data collection, manuscript and poster presentation preparation, and collaborates on research projects. Under the guidance of Dr. Yang, Rebekah is interested in emerging paradigms for prevention of falls; specifically, interventions which proactively engage at-risk older adult populations and simultaneously provide real-world implementation of evidence-based rehabilitation interventions.

Sara Mahmoudzadeh Khalili, MS, Doctoral Student


Sara Mahmoudzadeh Khalili joined the research group in Fall 2022 as a doctoral student with a concentration in Biomechanics and Rehabilitation. Sara is a Dean’s Doctoral Research Fellow awarded by the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University. She earned her M.S. degree in Sport Injuries and Corrective Exercises- Athletic Training at Shahid Beheshti University in 2018. Sara graduated from Urmia University with a B.S. in Physical Education and Sport Sciences. As a graduate Research Assistant, she works with Dr. Yang and other lab members on various research projects. Currently, Sara is primarily involved in a project on fall prevention in people with Alzheimer’s disease.

Diané Brown, PT, MS, Doctoral Student


Diané joined the Master’s program in Exercise Science at Georgia State University in Fall 2020. She graduated from the University of the West Indies, Mona in Kingston, Jamaica with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy in 2015. Following the completion of her internship at the Cornwall Regional Hospital in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she received her Physical Therapy license and started her own mobile practice. Growing up in a country where access to and knowledge about Physical Therapy was not readily available, the goal of her practice was to market her profession so that individuals with few options may be enlightened by new health choices they could potentially gain. She worked with numerous high school soccer teams helping rehabilitate and reduce injuries in young athletes. She also assisted a local clinic with walk-in patients who would benefit from effective rehabilitation plans and improve their overall function during activities of daily living. She started to work as a graduate research assistant in the lab in Summer of 2021 and was admitted to the Kinesiology doctoral program in Spring 2023. Diané is the other Brains & Behavior Neuroscience Fellow in the Department of Kinesiology and Health.


Graduate Students

  • Margaret Underdahl (2018) – Master’s Program in Biomedical Engineering, Mercer University, Georgia
  • Caroline Simpkins (2019) – Doctoral Program in Kinesiology, Georgia State University, Georgia
  • Wendy Ahn (2020) – Doctoral Program in Kinesiology, Georgia State University, Georgia
  • Meredith Wells (2022) – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Emory University, Georgia
  • Diané Brown (2022) – Doctoral Program in Kinesiology, Georgia State University, Georgia
  • Sangwon Shin (2023) – Doctoral Program in Biomechanics, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Nebraska

Undergraduate Students

  • Jennifer Lees (2019) – Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Husson University, Maine
  • Tiyara Benny (2020) – Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, University of St. Augustine, Florida
  • Kelsey Clark (2020) – Master’s Program in Exercise Sciences, Brigham Young University, Utah
  • Phum Tuntiansin (2020) – Applying to Master’s Program