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Fascia Research Society

Board and Staff


Mark DriscollMark Driscoll, FRS President

Mark Driscoll, Eng. PhD., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. His published research focuses on the biomechanics of the spine from the perspective of devising an improved understanding of stability, diagnostics, and/or treatments – having a particular focus on the involvement of soft tissue such as fascia. He chaired the scientific committees of the 2018 and 2022 Fascia Research Congresses and was elected as the first President of the Fascia Research Society in 2020. Dr. Driscoll is also the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Chair for Design Engineering for Interdisciplinary Innovation of Medical Technologies. As the founder and director of the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Lab at McGill, Dr. Driscoll has received many awards for his research and corresponding inventions which serve in assisting people with disabilities around the world.

Robert SchleipRobert Schleip, FRS Vice President

Dr. Robert Schleip is Research Director of the European Rolfing Association and also Director of the Fascia Research Group (Munich & Ulm, Germany.) His research on the active contractile properties of fascia was honored with the Vladimir Janda Award. He loves the interdisciplinary learning exchange in the fascia research field and has been a driving force behind the international Fascia Research Congress series, as well the 4-annual conference series 'Connective Tissues in 'Sports Medicine'.

Bill ParisiBill Parisi, FRS Board Member

Bill Parisi, BBA, C.S.C.S., founded the Parisi Speed School in 1992 with little more than a $500 van and a dream. Since then, he has grown the enterprise into an international team of coaches with facilities in more than 100 locations worldwide, training more than 650,000 youth athletes and producing first-round draft picks in every sport—including more than 145 NFL draft picks—and a host of Olympic medalists and champion UFC fighters. He is also the founder of the Fascia Training Academy—now home to the Fascial Fitness and Fascia Performance training programs—and the author of Fascia Training: A Whole-System Approach. Bill lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with his wife and two sons.

Fabiana SilvaFabiana Silva, FRS Secretary

Fabiana Silva is a physiotherapist from Brazil. She holds a Masters in Epidemiology and is a Sports Physio Specialist. Currently, she works in a clinical practice and as an invited Professor in Post Graduate Physiotherapy Courses about Fascia, Sports, and Manual Therapy in Latin America. She is the author of two chapters in the new edition of Fascia: The Tensional Network of The Human Body, and is the technical reviewer of the Portuguese version of Travell & Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual.

Nathaly GaudreaultNathaly Gaudreault, FRS Director

Nathaly Gaudreault is a physiotherapist and a full professor at the School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Sherbrooke, Canada. She is director of the Physius Laboratory affiliated with the Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke. Her research program aims to better understand the pathophysiology of myofascial disorders (contractures, myofascial trigger points, myofascial alterations) and to validate the mechanisms of different forms of manual therapies. By combining her clinical experience and her expertise in tissue biomechanics and imaging, her team aims to characterize specific effects of manual therapies using electromyography, myometry and innovative state-of-the-art ultrasonography techniques that measure the viscoelasticity and echostructure of the myofascia.

Rebecca PrattRebecca Pratt, FRS Director

Dr. Rebecca Pratt is currently a Professor of Anatomy at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan, US. She completed her PhD in Cancer Cell Biology from Purdue University in Indiana, US. She has been recognized by the American Association for Anatomists for excellence in teaching, scholarly activity, and service to the discipline. Her current adventure has her teaching clinical gross anatomy and medical histology across undergraduate years 1, 2 and 4. She is also the Musculoskeletal System course director. Dr. Pratt shares her excitement about fascia every chance she gets. For fun she teaches as an adjunct professor at Weill Cornell School of Medicine, St. George University School of Medicine, and performs in the Oakland Symphony Orchestra Chorale.

Robert UmfressRobert Umfress, FRS Student Director

Rob Umfress, CMT, is a manual therapist and educator. Rob first became interested in fascia through self-experimenting with foam rolling and other self-treatment methods. He taught as part of the 600-hour curriculum at the San Francisco School of Massage in addition to having a fascial-based manual therapy practice in San Francisco. Rob began chiropractic school in order to expand his treatment options with an anticipated graduation date of December 2023. He continues to practice manual therapy in a limited capacity while in school. In his downtime he likes to rock climb. He is working toward one day running a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic.

Claire BoucherClaire Boucher, FRS Student Director

Claire is a PhD researcher, graduate teaching assistant and content reviewer at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, United Kingdom. Claire’s vocational background in personal training and exercise referral led her to a BSc in Sport and exercise sciences with a specialism in clinical exercise physiology; her published dissertation focused on engaging inactive, sedentary females in physical activity. Now, Claire’s PhD focuses on the impact of the thoracolumbar fascia in those with chronic lower back pain, incorporating possible interventions to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behavior and, perhaps most importantly, to reduce pain. Within her graduate teaching role Claire currently leads seminars on a range of modules from anatomy, biomechanics, soft tissue massage and more as well as creating content for clinical pharmacology modules.


Barbara Bellanova

Barbara Bellanova, FRS Executive Director

Barbara comes to FRS with a 25 year background in Nonprofit leadership. She has been the Executive Director of numerous types of nonprofits from professional societies to mental and behavioral health organizations. Her experience includes a nonprofit consulting practice, where clients benefited from her organizational and fundraising skills. Barbara is a former bodyworker, who practiced myofascial release, and craniosacral therapies, while incorporating somatic psychotherapy. Barbara’s goals as Executive Director of FRS are to grow the organization while creating more opportunities for fascial research, increasing member engagement, offer leading fascia education, and to spread awareness of fascia to the general public. Barbara is an avid downhill skier, she has two adult sons and two granddaughters, and occasionally participates in AKC dog shows with her English Bulldogs.

Birgit McCallBirgit McCall, Web/Admin Asst. 

Birgit has spent most of her career leveraging her website, database, and project management skills to develop systems to reduce administrative workload for faculty, staff, and students in higher education environments. Over the past 8 years, she has worked with several scientific organizations to support their administrative functions and annual conferences. She is delighted to be working with the Fascia Research Society on their new website and upcoming Congress.

Contact Board or Staff

You can reach any of our governing board or staff members by emailing us at info@fasciaresearchsociety.org