Faculty Profile

Stephanie Kliethermes, PhD

Stephanie Kliethermes, PhD

Associate Research Professor







Dr. Stephanie Kliethermes is an Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her BA in Mathematics and English at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and her MS and PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Iowa.

Dr. Kliethermes currently serves as research director for the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), where she oversees research infrastructure and directs the research initiatives of the AMSSM Collaborative Research Network, housed at UW-Madison. Dr. Kliethermes’ research focuses on the application of statistical methodology and design to sports medicine. While she oversees a broad portfolio of AMSSM research interests, Dr. Kliethermes has personal research interests in youth sport (e.g., youth sport specialization) and injury risk and prevention in runners.



  • PhD Biostatistics, University of Iowa, 2013
  • MS Biostatistics, University of Iowa, 2009
  • BA Mathematics & English, Lawrence University, 2007

Professional Activities

  • Research Director, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
  • Associate Editor, British Journal of Sports Medicine
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy
  • Member, Health and Safety Advisory Council, National Council of Youth Sports
  • Board Member, Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention

Select Media Contributions

  • Youth Sport Specialization in the United States, CJSM Podcast Media Link
  • Madam Athlete Podcast, How to handle imposter syndrome Media Link
  • How to Encourage Translational Research among our peers, the Collaborative Research Network, British Journal of Sports Medicine Media Link
  • Research Review- Running, Pediatric Sports Medicine Podcast Media Link

Select Publications

  • McGuine T, Post E, Pfaller AY, Hetzel S, Schwarz A, Brooks MA, Kliethermes SA. “Does soccer headgear reduce the incidence of sport-related concussion? A cluster, randomised controlled trial of adolescent athletes.” Br J Sports Med. 2020 Apr;54(7):408-413. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100238. Epub 2019 May 14. PMID: 31088784; PMCID: PMC7146941.
  • Kliethermes SA, Nagle K, Côté J, Malina RM, Faigenbaum A, Watson A, Feeley B, Marshall SW, LaBella CR, Herman DC, Tenforde A, Beutler AI, Jayanthi N. “Impact of youth sports specialisation on career and task-specific athletic performance: a systematic review following the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) Collaborative Research Network’s 2019 Youth Early Sport Specialisation Summit.” Br J Sports Med. 2020 Feb;54(4):221-230. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101365. Epub 2019 Nov 18. PMID: 31740483.
  • Jayanthi N, Kliethermes S, Dugas L, Pasulka J, Iqbal S, LaBella C. “Risk of Injuries Associated With Sport Specialization and Intense Training Patterns in Young Athletes: A Longitudinal Clinical Case-Control Study.” Orthop J Sports Med. 2020 Jun 25;8(6):2325967120922764. doi: 10.1177/2325967120922764. PMID: 32637428; PMCID: PMC7318830.
  • Watson A, Post E, Biese K, Kliethermes S, Brooks MA, Bell D. “Decreased Physical Activity and Sleep, Not Sport Specialization, Predict Illness in Middle School Athletes.” Sports Health. 2021 Jan/Feb;13(1):25-30. doi: 10.1177/1941738120927599. Epub 2020 Jul 6. PMID: 32631208; PMCID: PMC7734356.
  • Biese KM, McGuine TA, Kliethermes SA, Bell DR, Post EG, Watson AM, Brooks MA, Lang PJ. “Sport specialization and sport participation opportunities and their association with injury history in female high school volleyball athletes.” Phys Ther Sport. 2020 Sep;45:86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2020.06.005. Epub 2020 Jul 12. PMID: 32717700.
  • Nelson EO, Kliethermes S, Heiderscheit B. “Construct Validity and Responsiveness of the University of Wisconsin Running Injury and Recovery Index.” J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2020 Dec;50(12):702-710. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2020.9698. Epub 2020 Oct 28. PMID: 33115339.
  • McGuine TA, Post E, Biese K, Kliethermes S, Bell D, Watson A, Brooks A, Lang P. “The Incidence and Risk Factors for Injuries in Girls Volleyball: A Prospective Study of 2072 Players.” J Athl Train. 2020 Nov 5. doi: 10.4085/182-20. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33150377.
  • Kliethermes SA, Marshall SW, LaBella CR, Watson AM, Brenner JS, Nagle KB, Jayanthi N, Brooks MA, Tenforde AS, Herman DC, DiFiori JP, Beutler AI. “Defining a research agenda for youth sport specialisation in the USA: the AMSSM Youth Early Sport Specialization Summit.” Br J Sports Med. 2021 Feb;55(3):135-143. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102699. PMID: 33462103.
  • Biese KM, Kliethermes SA, Watson AM, McGuine TA, Lang PJ, Bell DR, Alison Brooks M. “Musculoskeletal Injuries and Their Association With Previous Concussion History: A Prospective Study of High School Volleyball and Soccer Players.” Am J Sports Med. 2021 May;49(6):1634-1641. doi: 10.1177/0363546521997116. Epub 2021 Mar 15. PMID: 33719583.
  • Watson A, Biese K, Kliethermes SA, Post E, Brooks MA, Lang PJ, Bell DR, Haraldsdottir K, McGuine T. “Impact of in-season injury on quality of life and sleep duration in female youth volleyball athletes: a prospective study of 2073 players.” Br J Sports Med. 2021 Aug;55(16):912-916. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103331. Epub 2021 Feb 24. PMID: 33627336.
  • Bell DR, Snedden T, Biese K, Nelson E, Watson A, McGuine T, Brooks MA, Brown R, Kliethermes SA. “Consensus Definition of Sport Specialization in Youth Athletes Using a Delphi Approach.” J Athl Train. 2021 Mar 31. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-0725.20. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33787895.
  • Knurr KA, Kliethermes SA, Stiffler-Joachim MR, Cobian DG, Baer GS, Heiderscheit BC. “Running Biomechanics Before Injury and 1 Year After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Division I Collegiate Athletes.” Am J Sports Med. 2021 Aug;49(10):2607-2614. doi: 10.1177/03635465211026665. Epub 2021 Jul 14. PMID: 34260290; PMCID: PMC8338897.
  • Moulson N, Petek BJ, Drezner JA, Harmon KG, Kliethermes SA, Patel MR, Baggish AL; ORCCA Investigators. “SARS-CoV-2 Cardiac Involvement in Young Competitive Athletes.” Circulation. 2021 Apr 17. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.054824. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33866822.
  • Kliethermes SA, Stiffler-Joachim MR, Wille CM, Sanfilippo J, Zavala P, Heiderscheit BC. “Bone stress injury is prospectively associated with step rate in collegiate cross country.” Br J Sports Med 2021 May 14. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-103833. Online ahead of print. PMID: 33990294.
  • Harmon, KG, de St. Maurice, AM., Brady, AC, Swaminatha, S., Aukerman, DF., Rueda, MA., Terrell, K., Cohen, RP., Gamradt, SC., Henry, SD., Huston, LM., McAllister, DR., McCarty, KM., Pass, AN., Paul, SR., Petron, DJ., Kliethermes, SA. “Surveillance Testing for SARS-COV-2 Infection in an Asymptomatic Athlete Population; A Prospective Cohort Study with 123,362 Tests and 23,463 Paired RT-PCR/Antigen Samples” BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine (Accepted May 2021).
  • Petek B., Moulson N., Baggish, A., Kliethermes S., Patel, M., Churchill T., Harmon, K., Drezner, J. “Prevalence and Clinical Implications of Persistent or Exertional Cardiopulmonary Symptoms Following SARS-CoV-2 Infection in 2597 Collegiate Athletes: A Study from the Outcomes Registry for Cardiac Conditions in Athletes (ORCCA)” BJSM. Accepted 10/20/2021.
  • Wille, CM., Stiffler-Joachim, MR., Kliethermes, SA., Sanfilippo, J., Tanaka, CS., Heiderscheit, BC. “Preseason eccentric strength is not associated with future hamstring strain injury: A prospective study in male and female collegiate athletes” MSSE. Accepted March 2022.
  • Otis C., Hainline, B., Harwood, C., Jayanthi, N., Jensen R., Keber, A., Livengood, T., Stroia, K., Quinn, A., Vitkova, S., Kliethermes, SA., “A 20-year longitudinal review of the Women’s Tennis Association Tour age eligibility rule and professional development programs” BJSM.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Recipient, Hank Chambers Award for Best Scientific Presentation –ATC/Motion (2021 PRiSM Virtual Annual Meeting)  “The Impact of COVID-19 Related School Closures and Sport Cancellations on the Health of Adolescent Athletes”
  • Recipient, Hank Chambers Award for Best Scientific Paper in Athletic Training (2020 PRiSM Annual Meeting) “Ankle brace use and risk of acute lower extremity injury among female high school volleyball players”
  • Co-recipient, American Academy of Sports Physical Therapy (AASPT) Excellence in Research Award (2020) “Prospective Validation and Responsiveness of the University of Wisconsin Running Injury and Recovery Index” – Authors: Evan O. Nelson, DPT, PhD; Stephanie Kliethermes, PhD; Bryan Heiderscheit, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • Marshall B Hulbert Distinguished Young Alumni Award (2017), Lawrence University
    Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health, 2016
  • Milford E. Barnes Award, University of Iowa-Biostatistics (2013) given to most outstanding graduate student in his/her respective area of study