Professor, Department of Kinesiology
Director, Athletic Training Education
Chief Executive Officer, Korey Stringer Institute
Research Associate, Human Performance Laboratory
Ph.D. University of Connecticut, 1997
M.S. University of Florida, 1993
B.S. Allegheny College, 1990
Areas of Expertise:
Preventing Sudden Death
Exertional Heat Stroke
Exertional Heat Illnesses
Exercise & Heat
Physiology – Environmental
For Douglas Casa, the opportunity to maximize athletic performance in the heat and prevent sudden death in sport is the culmination of a life-long path; his passion for the study of exertional heat stroke started in 1985 when he suffered an exertional heat stroke while running a 10K race. This experience motivated what has become his life’s cause: the study of exertional heat stroke, heat illnesses, hydration, and preventing sudden death in sport – his ultimate goal is to find ways to maximize performance in challenging circumstances while working prevent needless tragedy during sport and physical activity. “I was fortunate to receive amazing care on-site from the athletic trainer; the EMT’s in the ambulance; and at the hospital from the emergency room physicians and nurses. I only survived because of the exceptional care I received. I was just 16 years old at the time, but I have been driven by this experience since that day,” Dr. Casa explains when asked about what motivates him. He celebrated his 30th anniversary of surviving his exertional heat stroke on August 8, 2015. In April 2010 Kelci Stringer (Korey’s widow), James Gould (Korey’s agent), and the NFL asked Dr. Casa to develop and run the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) at the University of Connecticut. Korey was an All-Pro offensive tackle for the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. He died from exertional heat stroke in August 2001. The mission of the KSI (ksi.uconn.edu) is to provide research, education, advocacy, and consultation, to maximize performance, optimize safety, and prevent sudden death for the athlete, warfighter, and laborer. Additionally, he is the editor of a book titled: Preventing Sudden Death in Sport and Physical Activity (2nd edition, 2017), published by Jones & Bartlett in cooperation with the American College of Sports Medicine. His new book titled Sports and Physical Activity in the heat: Maximizing Performance and Safety will be published by Springer in the summer of 2017.
For the past 17 years, Dr. Casa has worked toward his goals at the Department of Kinesiology, College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut. During this time he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed publications/book chapters and presented more than 400 times on subjects related to exertional heat stroke, heat-related illnesses, preventing sudden death in sport, and hydration. Dr. Casa has successfully treated 225 cases of exertional heat stroke (with 0 fatalities). In October 2005 and 2010 the Department of Kinesiology doctoral program at the University of Connecticut was ranked number 1 in the country by the National Academy of Kinesiology (for 20005-2105). Additionally, in September 2010 the National Research Council ranked the faculty in the Department of Kinesiology number one for research productivity.
Dr. Casa was named full professor at the University of Connecticut in August 2010. In 2008 he was the recipient of the medal for distinguished athletic training research from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. In 2016 Dr. Casa received the highest honor in his field when he was named a fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology (FNAK #556). He was named a fellow of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2008. He received the Sayers “Bud” Miller Distinguished Educator Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association in 2007 and has been a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine since 2001. In 2011 he was inducted into the University of Florida alumni hall of fame. He has been a lead or co-author on over 15 sports medicine (ACSM, NATA) position statements/consensus statements/roundtables related to heat illness, hydration, and preventing sudden death. He is an associate editor of the Journal of Athletic Training, Journal of Science and Medicine in Sports and on the editorial board of Current Sports Medicine Reports, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Dr. Casa has worked with numerous media outlets across the country in discussing his research including the NBC Today Show, Good Morning America, ESPN, CNN, PBS, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.
Dr. Casa earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Allegheny College, in 1990; his master’s degree in athletic training from the University of Florida in 1993; and his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut in 1997. He has been happily married to his wife Tutita Casa, PhD for 21 years and they have 3 kids; Montana (13), Navia (12), and Alessio (11).
Selected Funded Research:
2017- BrainScope Company, Inc. – A grant to validate the use of an innovative technology to aid in the diagnosis of mTBI
2017- National Athletic Trainers Association – A grant to evaluate the current perceptions of key stakeholders have of athletic trainers
2016 – Principal investigator, DHAMA, a study to investigate wearable technology
2016 – Principal investigator, Polar, a study to investigate wearable technology
2016 – Principal investigator, NCAA, a study to investigate collegiate men’s soccer injuries over the course of a season
2016 – Principal investigator, Mission Athletecare, a study to investigate hydration wearable technology
2016 – Principal investigator, WHOOP a study to investigate sleep and recovery wearable technology
2016 – Principal investigator, General Electric, a study to investigate hydration wearable technology
2015- 2016 – Principal Investigator – BrainScope Company, Inc. – A grant to study the use of an innovative technology to aid in the diagnosis of mTBI
Selected Publications in the last 5 years:
Casa DJ, Hosokawa Y, Belval LN, Adams WM, Stearns RL. Preventing Death from Exertional Heat Stroke – The Long Road from Evidence to Policy. Kinesiology Review. 2017; 6:99-109.
Grundstein A, Knox JA, Vanos J, Cooper ER, Casa DJ. American football and fatal exertional heat stroke: a case study of Korey Stringer. Int. J. Biometerol. 2017. Epub ahead of print.
Hosokawa Y, Casa DJ, Rosenberg H, Capacchione JF, Sagui E, Riazi S, Belval LN, Deuster PA, Jardine JF, Kavouras SA, Lee EC, Miller KC, Muldoon SM, O’Connor FG, Sailor SR, Sabuughin N, Stearns RL, Adams WM, Huggins RA, Vandermark LW. Round Table on Malignant Hyperthermia in Physically Active Populations: Meeting Proceedings. J. Athl Train. 2017;52(4):377-383.
Huggins RA, Scarneo SE, Casa DJ, Belval LN, Carr SK, Chiampas G, Clayton M, Curtis RM, Duffy AJ, Flury A, Gammons M, Hosokawa Y, Jardine JF, LaBella CR, Oats R, Ransone JW, Sailor SR, Scott K, Stearns RL, Vandermark LW, Weston T. The Inter-Association Task Force Document on Adams WM, Hosokawa Y, Huggins RA, Mazerolle SM, Casa DJ. An Exertional Heat Stroke Survivor’s Return to Running: An Integrated Approach to Treatment, Recovery, and Return to Activity. J. Sport Rehab. 2016;25:280-87.Train. 2017; 52(4):384-400.
Johnson EC, Pryor RR, Casa DJ, Ellis LA, Maresh CM, Pescatello LS, Ganio MS, Lee EC, Armstrong LE. Precision, Accuracy, and Performance Outcomes of Perceived Exertion vs Heart Rate Guided Run-Training. J. Strength and Conditioning Research. 2017; 31(3):630-637.
Pike AM, Pryor RR, Vandermark LW, Mazerolle SM, Casa DJ. Athletic Training Services in Public and Private Secondary Schools. J Ath Train. 2017;52(1):5-11.
Hosokawa Y, Adams WM, Belval LN, Vandermark LW, Casa DJ. Tarp-Assisted Cooling as Method of Whole Body Cooling in Hyperthermic Individuals. Annals of Emergency Medicine. 2016;69(3);347-352.
Adams WM, Hosokawa Y, Casa DJ. Body-Cooling Paradigm in Sport: Maximizing Safety and Performance During Competition. J. Sport Rehab. 2016;25:382-394.
Adams WM, Hosokawa Y, Huggins RA, Mazerolle SM, Casa DJ. An Exertional Heat Stroke Survivor’s Return to Running: An Integrated Approach to Treatment, Recovery, and Return to Activity. J. Sport Rehab. 2016;25:280-87.
Casa, D.J, J.K Demartini, M.F Bergeron, D. Csillan, E.R. Eichner, R.M. Lopez, M.S. Ferrara, K.C. Miller, F. O’Connor, M.N. Sawka, S.W. Yeargin. National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement: exertional heat illnesses. J Athl Train. 2015. Epub ahead of print. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26285091
Adams, W.M, Y. Hosokawa, D.J. Casa. The timing of exertional heat stroke survival starts prior to collapse. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2015;14(4):273-274.
Adams, W.M., Y. Hosokawa, D.J. Casa. Body cooling paradigm in sport: maximizing safety and performance during competition. J Sport Rehabil. 2015 Jun; Epub ahead of print.
Flouris, A.D., B.J. Friesen, M.J. Carlson, D.J. Casa, G.P. Kenny. Effectiveness of cold water immersion for treating exertional heat stress when immediate response is not possible. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2015;Suppl 1.:229-239.
Pryor, R.R., D.J. Casa, L.W. Vandermark, R.L. Stearns, S.M. Attanasio, G.J. Fontaine, A.M. Wafer. Athletic training services in public secondary schools: a benchmark study. J Athl Train. 2015 Feb;50(2):156-62. http://natajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.4085/1062-6050-50.2.03
Demartini, J.K., D.J. Casa, R.L. Stearns, L.N. Belval, A. Crago, R.J. Davis, J.J. Jardine. Effectiveness of cold water immersion in the treatment of exertional heat stroke at the falmouth road race. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015;47(2):240-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24983342
DeMartini, J.K., D.J. Casa, L.N. Belval, A. Crago, R.J. Davis, J.J. Jardine, R.L. Stearns. Environmental conditions and the occurrence of exertional heat illnesses and exertional heat stroke at the Falmouth Road Race. J Athl Train. 2014;49(4):478-85. http://natajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.4085/1062-6050-49.3.26
Adams, W.M., S.M. Mazerolle, D.J. Casa, R.A. Huggins, L. Burton. The secondary school football coach’s relationship with the athletic trainer and perspectives on exertional heat stroke. J Athl Train. 2014;49(4):469-77.
Adams, W.M., E.M. Ferraro, R.A. Huggins, D.J. Casa. Influence of body mass loss on changes in heart rate during exercise in the heat: a systematic review. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(8):2380-2389.
Pryor, R.R., R.A. Huggins, D.J. Casa. Best practice recommendations for prevention of sudden death in secondary school athletes: an update. Pediatric Exercise Science. 2014;26(2):124-126.
Pryor, R.R., D.J. Casa, W.M. Adams, L.N. Belval, J.K. DeMartini, R.A Huggins, R.L. Stearns, L.W. Vandermark. Maximizing athletic performance in the heat. Strength and Conditioning Journal. 2013;35(6):24-33.
Kerr Z.Y., S.W. Marshall, R.D. Comstock, D.J. Casa. Exertional heat stroke management strategies in United States high school football. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2013;42(1):70-77. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24013346
Kerr, Z.Y., S.W. Marshall, R.D. Comstock, D.J. Casa. Implementing exertional heat illness prevention strategies in US high school football. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2013;46(1):124-130. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Implementing+exertional+heat+illness+prevention+strategies+in+US+high+school+football
Pryor, R.R., D.J. Casa, J.C. Holschen, F.G. O’Connor, L.W. Vandermark. Exertional heat stroke: strategies for prevention and treatment from the sports field to the emergency department. Clinical Pediatric Exercise Medicine. 2013;14(4):267-278.
Casa, D.J., J. Almquist, S.A. Anderson, L. Baker, M.F. Bergeron, B. Biagioli, B. Boden, J.S. Brenner, M. Carroll, B. Colgate, L. Cooper, R. Courson, et al. The Inter-Association Task Force for Preventing Sudden Death in Secondary School Athletics Programs: Best Practices Recommendations. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48(4):546-553. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718357/pdf/i1062-6050-48-4-546.pdf
Kerr, Z.Y., D.J. Casa, S.W. Marshall, R.D. Comstock. Epidemiology of exertional heat illness among U.S. High School Athletes. American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 2013;44(1):8-14.
Casa, D.J., S.A. Anderson, L. Baker, et al. The Inter-Association Task Force for preventing sudden death in collegiate conditioning sessions best practices recommendations. Journal of Athletic Training. 2012;47(4):477-480. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3396308/pdf/i1062-6050-47-4-477.pdf
Casa, D.J., L.E. Armstrong, G.P. Kenny, F.G. O’Connor, R.A. Huggins. Exertional heat stroke: New concepts regarding cause and care. Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2012;11(3):115-123. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22580488
Casa, D.J., K.M. Guskiewicz, S.A. Anderson, R.W. Courson, J.F. Heck, C.C. Jimenez, B.P. McDermott, M.G. Miller, R.L. Stearns, E.E. Swartz, K.M. Walsh. National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Preventing Sudden Death in Sports. Journal of Athletic Training. 2012;47(1):96-118. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3418121/pdf/i1062-6050-47-1-96.pdf
Fellow, National Academy of Kinesiology, 2016
President’s Lecturer, American College of Sports Medicine National Meeting, 2016
NSCA President’s Award, 2012
Served on the medical staff and assisted with policies for most of the following: Boston Marathon, NYC Marathon, Falmouth Road Race, Hawaii Ironman Triathlon, Marine Corps Marathon, Five Points of Life Marathons (Gainesville, FL), and other numerous events
Successfully treated 202 exertional heat stroke victims with a 100% survival rate
Associate Editor, Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport
Section Editor, Journal of Athletic Training
Editorial Board, Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
Editorial Board, Current Sports Medicine Reports
Selected In the News:
New York Times (Web), 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/08/08/us/ap-high-school-survey.html
Business Wire (Press Release), 2017 http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170731005519/en/WHOOP-Korey-Stringer-Institute-Conduct-Largest-Athlete
New York Times (Web), 2017 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/20/well/move/the-risk-of-exertional-heatstroke-to-young-athletes.html
Consumer Reports (Web), 2017
ESPN (TV), Outside the Lines: “Girls Youth Football: Is it Safe?”, August 2015
http://youtu.be/9IYLvMhJLIo (discussion panel from show)
http://youtu.be/i5vXBZR5GYc (discussion panel from show)
http://youtu.be/R8CE3xAhpQc (online discussion)
TED-Ed – “What Happens When You Get Heat Stroke?”, July 2014 http://ed.ted.com/lessons/what-happens-when-you-get-heat-stroke-douglas-j-casa
The Washington Post, August 2014
NFL Network (TV), June 2013
ESPN (TV), Outside the Lines, August 2013