Huffines Institute Staff

Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot

Institute Director: Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot
PhD FACSM RCEP CES, Debbie and Mike Hilliard ’73 Endowed Chair in Kinesiology, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot is currently the Debbie and Mike Hilliard '73 Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and the Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Louisiana Monroe and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He completed a research consultantship with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Kennedy Space Center in the Biomedical Laboratory and then a three-year National Institute of Health postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. Read More

Institute Associate Director: Dr. Steve Martin

Institute Associate Director: Dr. Steve Martin
PhD, RCEP, Clinical Associate Professor, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. Steven Edward Martin is a Clinical Associate Professor of clinical and applied exercise physiology in the Department of Health & Kinesiology, and the Associate Director of the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine at Texas A&M University. Dr. Steven E. Martin received his B.S. in Exercise Physiology from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. His work experience includes cardiovascular and pulmonary rehabilitation as well as non-invasive cardiovascular stress testing. He completed his Masters and Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology at Texas A&M University. He currently teaches courses in cardiovascular stress testing, electrocardiography, and clinical exercise evaluation and prescription. His primary research focus is exercise and lipid metabolism relating to cardiovascular disease risk reduction. His research interests also include cardiovascular disease risk in firefighters and law enforcement personnel. Dr. Martin resides in College Station, and is the proud parent of two boys and one daughter.

Institute Associate Director: Dr. Steve Martin

Institute Assistant Director: Dr. Jenna Yentes
PhD, Associate Professor, Director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Dept. of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University.

Dr. Yentes currently serves as the Assistant Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. She is also an Associate Professor and the Director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory in the Department of Health & Kinesiology. Dr. Yentes’ research focuses on the coupling of biological rhythms, such as breathing and walking. Previously, she has explored the clinical utility of breathing and walking coupling for pulmonary rehabilitation in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Currently, she is exploring the coupling of biological rhythms for human performance. In addition, Dr. Yentes has published several methods papers regarding the use of tools to analyze fluctuations in human movement data. This allows her the ability to approach human movement analysis from a unique lens adding complementary insights into the field.

Dr. Yentes is a first generation college student, and received her B.A. in Kinesiology from the University of Northern Colorado (2000), M.S. in Kinesiology from California State University Fullerton (2006), and Ph.D. in Biomechanics from the University of Nebraska (2013). She has worked in various sectors including the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, has owned her own business, and had too many odd jobs to count. Before coming to Texas A&M University, Dr. Yentes was faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She has been awarded the Promising Scientist Award from the International Society of Posture and Gait Research. She is passionate about advocating for inclusion of all in the STEM sciences. Dr. Yentes is a member of the American Society of Biomechanics, Black Biomechanics Association, International Society of Posture and Gait Research, and Gerontological Society of America. Outside of work, she supports animal rescues (she has a soft spot for corgis), listening to live music, and soaking up the sun.

Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy: Dr. John Thornton

Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy: Dr. John Thornton
PhD, Executive Professor, Health and Kinesiology Department

As the inaugural Director of the Texas A&M Coaching Academy, Dr. Thornton brings a wealth of experience as an athlete, coach, and athletic administrator to the position. After playing high school and junior college basketball in San Antonio, Thornton came to Aggieland to play for Coach Shelby Metcalf. Thornton was the 1973-1974 Southwest Conference Newcomer of the Year after being the second-leading scorer and rebounder on the Aggie squad. In 1974-75, Thornton was the team captain and helped lead the Aggies to the 1975 SWC Championship title. Read More

Mr. Dell Billings

Administrative Associate: Brett Henry
Mr. Brett Henry is currently the administrative associate in the Applied Exercise Science Laboratory at the Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine & Human Performance. He assists in the coordination of the medical testing program for first responders from the Bryan and College Station police and fire departments, Texas Task Force One, and the Brazos County volunteer fire departments and community. His Texas A&M career began as a Boy Scout, attending Aggie football games at Kyle Field as an usher, showing fans to their reserved seat.  After graduating from Sam Houston State University in Business (’78), he moved to Bryan/College Station to work in the real estate industry for a home builder, Joe Courtney and later in the appraisal business. In 1992, he started a 28 year career in the Texas A&M System with the Texas Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) in research administration (26 years), dealing with proposals/contracts/grants for private (US and foreign), state and federal funding source companies/agencies. He worked daily with TAMU professors all over campus and TAMU System Schools – assisting with coordination of business proposal aspects, budgeting/costs, submission to the funding source and grant and contract completion. 

Ms. Lauryn Hawkins

Lead Administrative Assistant: Ms. Lauryn Hawkins
Lauryn is a senior Kinesiology major from San Antonio, TX. Lauryn has been with the Institute since fall of 2019 and is now the Lead Administrative Assistant.

Ms. Macilynn Coles

Lead Administrative Assistant: Ms. Macilynn Coles
Maci is a senior Kinesiology major specializing in motor behavior from Corsicana, Texas. She has been with the Instituite since the fall of 2020, and is now the Lead Aministrative Assistant. 

Ms. Emily Pearl

Graduate Testing Specialist: Ms. Emily Pearl
Emily graduated fom Texas A&M in December of 2020 with a B.S. in Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology and plans to get her Master's in kinesiology along with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Emily is from Corpus Christi, TX. She just started with the Institute in the spring of 2021, working with Dr. Martin on testing with the police and fire department.

Mr. Anirudh Sreeram

Audio Producer: Mr. Anirudh Sreeram
Ani is a junior Biomedical Science major from Austin, TX. He has been with the Institute since spring of 2021 and works on the Huffines Human Performance Minutes for TexAgs Radio.

Ms. Navika Kumar

Staff: Ms. Anisha Patel
Anisha is sophomore Biology major from Houston, TX. She has been with the Institute since spring of 2022. 

Ms. Navika Kumar

Staff: Ms. Navika Kumar
Navika is sophomore Kinesiology major from Houston, TX. She has been with the Institute since spring of 2022. 

Mr. Dell Billings

Communications Specialist: Mr. Dell Billings
Mr. Billings, '95 (Agricultural Journalism), is the Communication Specialist for the Dept. of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M, but his services are displayed throughout the Huffines Institute's website. Mr. Billings has a long history in local media, having worked at KBTX for 10 years and KWTX for two years before joining Texas A&M's HLKN Department.

Mr. Dell Billings

Ms. Brianne Breidenbach-Jenkins, MS
Bri is a second-year doctoral student in Exercise Physiology with interest in neuroenergetics and physical activity regulation. She completed his Bachelor's in Exercise Science from Saint Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and her masters in Kinesiology and Sport Studies with a clinical emphasis from Eastern Illinois University. After teaching biomechanics for two years at Eastern Illinois, Bri now teaches for PEAP and hopes to combine her passions for research to pursue a post-doctoral experience upon completion of her PhD.

Mr. Dell Billings

Testing Specialist: Troy Briscoe
Troy is a senior Applied Exercise Physiology major from Coppell, TX. His work as a personal trainer has inspired him to get involved with the Huffines Institute, where he has been since the fall of 2018. Troy is now a testing specialist on special assignment.

Mr. Dell Billings

Mr. Troy La
Troy is a junior Kinesiology major/Biology and Public Health minor from Sugar Land, Texas. His interest in exercise and the science behind it motivated him to pursue kinesiology research. He joined the Lightfoot Lab in Fall 2019.