Cynthia Bir studies what happens to the human body after sports injuries, ballistic impacts and explosive blasts. She is known worldwide for her research into the effects of blunt ballistic impacts from rubber bullets and other less-lethal ammunition, and most recently, she has been investigating how explosions can cause unseen neurological trauma. She currently appears on television as the lead scientist for ESPN’s “Sport Science” and National Geographic’s “Fight Science,” where she helps reveal the biomechanical secrets of mixed martial arts fighters, special-ops soldiers,ninja masters and police canines.
Bir is a professor of biomedical engineering and the director of orthopaedic surgery research at Wayne State University in Michigan, and she sits on the NATO Human Factors and Medicine Panel for Improvised Explosive Devices. She has also consulted on television shows such as “Stan Lee’s Superhumans” and the BBC documentary series “The Indestructibles.” Bir was selected as a Crain’s Detroit Business “Woman to Watch” in 2008.