Temple University, Ph.D., 2016
Temple University, M.S., 2013
Henderson State University, B.S., 2010
- 2021: Indiana University Outstanding Junior Faculty Award
- 2020: IU SPH Outstanding Early Career Scholar Award
- 2018: 1st Place Winner, Young Investigator Competition, Military Health System Research Symposium
- 2013-2016: Outstanding Graduate Research Award, Temple University
- 2011: Professional Internship, MLB Atlanta Braves
- 2010: Professional Internship, NFL Detroit Lions
- 2009: Professional Internship, MLS Sporting Kansas City
2020-2025 NIH-NINDS R01NS113950-01A1 (PI: Kawata, 5 year $2,856,478 ): "Subconcussive neurodegenerative progression in adolescent athletes"
2020-2022 NIH-NINDS R21NS116548-01A1 (MPI: Kawata & Newman, 2 year $435,875): "Neuroimaging and blood biomarkers for subconcussive neural stress on ADHD"
2017-2018 Indiana State Department of Health (PI: Kawata, 2 year $152,723 ): "Biochemical and behavioral markers for acute subconcussive head impacts"
Research Area of Interest: Ever since my own traumatic brain injury experience, I have been pursuing to discover an effective diagnosis and rehabilitation protocol for patients with brain injury. While the vast majority of research has focused on a single impact that elicits concussion (e.g., disorientation, headache), many soldiers and athletes are frequently exposed to subconcussive head impacts prior to the concussive blow. Thus, it remains completely unknown whether neuronal damage and sensory deficit are caused by a single concussive blow, repetitive subconcussive impacts before the concussive blow, or both. To identify safe ranges of repetitive hits, my laboratory employs head accelerometer, blood biomarkers, ocular-motor system, and neuronal activity (using electroencephalography). By tracking subconcussive impacts combined with various parameters, we have witnessed a glimps of hope that some modalities could predict a concussion before it occurs. It is of my priority to establish brain-injury specific objective markers that to ensure soldiers and athletes’ safety while sustaining highest level of performance.
Kawata K, Steinfeldt JA, Huibregtse ME, Nowak MK, Macy JT, Kercher K, Rettke DJ, Shin A, Chen Z, Ejima K, Newman SD, & Cheng H (2020). Association of proteomic blood biomarkers and DTI/NODDI metrics in adolescent football players. Frontiers in Neurology 11:581781
Huibregtse ME, Nowak MK, Kim JE, Kalbfell RM, Koppineni A, Ejima K, & Kawata K (2020). Does soccer heading cause an increase in plasma S100B? A randomized controlled trial. PLOS ONE 15(10): e0239507
Nowak MK, Ejima K, Quinn P, Bazarian JJ, Mickleborough TD, Harezlak J, Newman SD, & Kawata K (2020). ADHD may associate with reduced tolerance to acute subconcussive head impacts: a pilot case-control intervention study. Journal of Attention Disorders (Accepted: In Press)
Huibregtse ME, Ejima K, Chen Z, Kalbfell RM, Koppineni A, & Kawata K (2020). Acute time-course changes in CCL11, CCL2, and IL-10 levels after controlled subconcussive head impacts: A pilot randomized clinical trial. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation 35(5):308-316
Kercher K, Steinfeldt JA, Macy JT, Ejima K, & Kawata K (2020). Head impact exposure between drill intensities in U.S. high school football. PLOS ONE 15(8): e0237800.
Nowak MK, Bevilacqua ZW, Ejima K, Huibregtse ME, Chen Z, Mickleborough TD, Newman SD, & Kawata K (2020). Neuro-ophthalmologic response to repetitive subconcussive head impacts: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA Ophthalmology 138(4):350-357.
Holmes AA, Chen Z, Yahng L, Fletcher D, & Kawata K (2020). Return to Learn: Academic Effects of Concussion in High School and College Student-Athletes. Frontiers in Pediatrics 8:57.
Huibregtse ME, Zonner SW, Ejima K, Bevilacqua ZW, Newman S, Macy J, & Kawata K (2019). Association of acute muscle damage and head impact kinematics in high school American football players. International Journal of Sports Medicine 41(1): 36-43.
Newman SD, Grantz J, McKinney K, Gutierrez A, & Kawata K (2019). Association between history of concussion and substance use is mediated by mood disorder. Journal of Neurotrauma 37(1): 146-151.
Zonner SW, Ejima K, Bevilacqua ZW, Huibregtse ME, Charleston C, Fulgar C, & Kawata K (2019). Association of increased serum S100B levels with high school football subconcussive head impacts. Frontiers in Neurology. 10:327
Zonner SW, Ejima K, Fulgar C, Charleston C, Huibregtse ME, Bevilacqua ZW, & Kawata K (2018). Oculomotor response to cumulative subconcussive head impacts in US high school football players: a pilot longitudinal study. JAMA Ophthalmology 137(3) 265-270.
Bevilacqua ZW & Kawata K (2018). Procedural shortcomings with near point of convergence assessment may lead to inappropriate prognosis of concussion injury in athletes. American Journal of Sports Medicine 46(12): 64–68.
Wirsching A, Chen Z, Bevilacqua Z, Huibregtse M, & Kawata K (2018). Association of acute increase in plasma neurofilament light with repetitive subconcussive head impacts: a pilot randomized control trial. Journal of Neurotrauma. 36(4):548-553.
Kawata K, Mitsuhashi M, & Aldret R (2018). Preliminary reports on brain-derived exosomes as unique blood biomarkers for sport-related concussions. Frontiers in Neurology 9:239.
Kawata K, Rubin HL, Wesley L, Lee JH, Sim T, Takahagi M, Bellamy A, Tierney R, & Langford D (2018). Acute changes in plasma total Tau levels are independent of subconcussive head impacts in college football players. Journal of Neurotrauma, 35(2):260-266
Kawata K, Rubin HL, Takahagi M, Lee JH, Sim T, Szwanki V, Bellamy A, Tierney R, & Langford D (2017). Subconcussive impact-dependent increase in plasma S100β expression levels in collegiate football players. Journal of Neurotrauma. 34(14):2254-2260
Hwang SJ, Ma L, Kawata K, Tierney R, & Jeka JJ (2017). Vestibular dysfunction after subconcussive head impact. Journal of Neurotrauma. 34(1):8-15.
Kawata K, Rubin HL, Lee JH, Sim T, Takahagi M, Szwanki V, Bellamy A, Assari S, Darvish K, Henderer J, Tierney R, & Langford D (2016). Effect of football subconcussive head impact kinematics on ocular near point of convergence. JAMA Ophthalmology 134(7):763-769.
Kawata K, Liu CY, Merkel S, Ramirez S, Tierney R, & Langford D (2016). Blood Biomarkers for Brain Injury: What are we measuring? Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews. 68: 460-473.
Kawata K, Tierney R, Phillips J, & Jeka JJ (2016). Effect of repetitive sub-concussive head impacts on ocular near point of convergence. International Journal of Sports Medicine 37(5): 405-410.
Kawata K, Tierney R, & Langford D (2018). Blood and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers. In B. Brian Hainline and Robert Stern (Ed.), Handbook of Clinical Neurology 158:217-33