The core FORCE team (Franklin, Ayers, Zheng, Wissig, and Lemay) lead our research efforts in collaboration with the following inter-disciplinary researchers at the University of Massachusetts.


Meet the Core Research Team

Wenjun Li, PhD
Lead Biostatistician

Dr. Li is Associate Professor of Biostatistics in the Department of Medicine at UMMS and the lead biostatistician for FORCE-TJR and the Musculoskeletal Clinical and Outcomes research program. He also serves as director of the UMMS Health Statistics and Geography Lab. He has expertise in design and analysis of probability sample surveys, observational cohort and clinical registry studies, individual or cluster-randomized clinical trials in both hospital and community settings. He is expert in predictive modeling of medical outcomes and health care utilizations as well as risk adjustment in outcomes research.  Dr. Li is well known for his research into public health policies and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in population health research. He developed wildly used methods for predicting small area prevalence rates of adult and childhood obesity, unhealthy eating, physical inactivity and tobacco use using data from population-based probability sample surveys. Dr. Li has served as lead biostatistician for numerous NIH or AHRQ-funded national consortium projects, and PI for a large number of NIH, CDC, state government, RWJF or industry-funded research projects.

UyenSa Nguyen, DSc
Musculoskeletal Epidemiologist

UyenSa is an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and epidemiologist in the Musculoskeletal Clinical and Outcomes Research group. Her primary interest is in the application of epidemiologic and analytic methods to the studies of musculoskeletal and arthritic disorders, and elucidating possible mechanisms for the consequences of these conditions. Areas of research include osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis in relation to pain, function, falls, and joint replacement, with current studies focusing on the risk factor paradoxes in rheumatic disease research

John Ware Jr., PhD

Dr. Ware, Professor in the UMMS Department of Quantitative Health Science, is an internationally recognized expert in patient-reported outcomes (PRO) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (formerly, Institute of Medicine). He led the development of the outcome measures used in the RAND Health Insurance Experiment, served as the Principal Investigator for the Medical Outcomes Study (MOS) where he developed the SF-36® Health Survey and led the International Quality of Life Assessment Project that translated and culturally adapted the SF-36 for use in multinational clinical trials and population health surveys. In the 1990’s, Dr. Ware was among the first to apply “modern” psychometric methods to generic and disease-specific measures to cross-calibrate and estimate scores more efficiently and he founded QualityMetric to distribute web-based and computer adaptive SF tools. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles. His current work focuses on the integration of disease-specific and generic PROs using improved adaptive survey logic to make patient screening and outcomes monitoring more practical and more useful in clinical research and practice.

Barbara Gandek, PhD

Dr. Gandek is Assistant Professor in the Department of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her research focuses on patient-reported outcomes (PRO) measurement. She has been extensively involved in the development, translation and documentation of health outcome surveys such as the SF-36 and SF-12 in the United States and internationally. Her recent research has focused on the psychometric properties of PRO instruments used in total joint replacement, using data from the FORCE-TJR registry based at University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). Prior to joining UMMS, she was a Senior Scientist at QualityMetric Incorporated, Scientist at the Health Assessment Lab, Senior Project Director at The Health Institute at Tufts Medical Center, and Project Manager at the Health Data Institute. Dr. Gandek is on the Editorial Board of Arthritis Care & Research and also is an Adjunct Instructor at Tufts University School of Medicine and Director of Research at the John Ware Research Group. She holds a PhD in Clinical & Population Research from UMMS, a MS in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a BA in Economics from Swarthmore College.

Katherine Boyer

Dr. Boyer is Assistant Professor and co-director of the Biomechanics Lab in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the director of the UMassMemorial Gait Analysis Clinic a new joint venture between the UMass Amherst Department of Kinesiology and the UMass Medical School Department of Orthopedics and adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopedics and Physical Rehabilitation. The focus of her research is on the mechanisms underlying loss of normal joint and whole body function associated with aging, musculoskeletal pain and joint pathology. She has extensive experience in the measurement and mechanical analysis of human movement patterns. Dr. Boyer and colleagues are building a research program to quantify and intervene on biomechanical factors that contribute to variance in treatment outcomes in orthopedic patients including osteoarthritis and total joint replacement.

Paul Fanning

Bio to come


We also welcome ancillary research collaborations with external researchers to expand the impact of the FORCE research expertise and data.

Learn more about our ancillary research