Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Valentina Graci, PhD

Valentina Graci, PhD - CIRP CHOP
Research Scientist I

Valentina Graci, PhD is a Research Scientist I in Biomechanics at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Graci’s research explores age-related differences in bracing behavior during pre-crash maneuvers while driving, such as emergency braking and evasive swerving. Through funding from the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies, a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, Dr. Graci is also examining the role of the startle reflex in take-over reaction time in critical autonomous driving scenarios. Her current research interests also include the influence of automatic emergency braking pulses and novel seating configurations on occupant kinematics and muscle activity.

Dr. Graci graduated with a degree in Experimental Psychology from the University of Milano-Bicocca (Italy). She received her PhD in Vision and Mobility at the University of Bradford in the UK where she investigated the role of vision in controlling human movement. During her post-doctoral training, she examined postural perturbations in older adults and stroke survivors that are linked to an increased risk of fall and injury.

At CIRP, Dr. Graci is applying more than 10 years of experience in investigating human motion in a variety of biomechanics arenas, such as gait and posture, age-related falls, musculoskeletal and neuromotor disorder, to understand injury prevention in the automotive safety field.

Dr. Graci can be contacted at

Research Interests

Characterization of kinematics and muscle activation patterns in children and adults exposed to pre-crash events