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A.T. Still University Home

Research Centers

Center for Advancement of Osteopathic Research Methodologies (CORM)



The CORM mission is to establish and advance the tools, methodologies, and standards for osteopathic research, training, and practice.


SRI Scientists

  • Brian Degenhardt, DO , Center Director
  • Eric Snider , DO

SRI Research Associates

  • Ken Pamperin, MS
  • Vanessa Pazdernik, MS
  • Steve Webb, BA, BS

General Areas of Research:

  • Produce testing and training models to demonstrate the accuracy of examiner’s palpation.
  • Establish reliable tests for the pelvis, lumbar, thoracic, and rib regions.
  • Utilize reliable tests as outcome measures for OMM clinical research.
  • Perform controlled, blinded studies to determine the effect of “successful” manipulations for multiple conditions.
  • Determine the incidence of somatic dysfunctions in various age groups.
  • Establish a methodology for the objective longitudinal evaluation of a population to determine the natural history and clinical significance of somatic dysfunction.

Long-term Goals:           

  • Determine/establish the validity of the osteopathic palpatory diagnostic process and determine if there are objective structural changes associated with a therapeutic benefit from osteopathic manual treatment (OMT).
  • Determine the clinical significance of somatic dysfunction and improve the skills of current clinicians utilizing OMT so that their input into national databases regarding the use, observations, and outcomes associated with osteopathic palpatory diagnosis and treatment will be meaningful and useful.
  • Advance the palpatory skills of future osteopathic physicians by incorporating instruments and protocols used to objectify palpation throughout the profession’s training programs.
  • Disseminate outcomes and the objective testing methodologies developed at this Center to Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM) researchers and educators.


Educational Programming Goals: 

  • Pilot training programs with local faculty and residents using instrumentation, models, and procedures established within the Center’s research program.
  • Training a pool of national clinical D.O. researchers who can document the reliability and accuracy of their palpatory skills used in their independent clinical research.
  • Pilot training programs with groups of undergraduate students to utilize methodologies and models as objective feedback during OMM skill development.
  • Develop similar training programs at other osteopathic medical schools.

Current Projects:

Since the inception of CORM, research under the Center has resulted in the development of validated methodologies that have been used as objective outcome measures for manual medicine research and education.  With the financial support of the $2 million endowment from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation and matching funds from the ATSU University, CORM has been able to further develop and pilot test these methodologies in externally funded grants and educational programs.  These methods have been shown to be quite valuable as objective feedback for training and advancing palpatory skills.  The Center has recently begun to disseminate these methods to advance educational programming.