Meet Our Physical Therapy Staff
From the moment you step into Upright Athlete Physical Therapy in Durham, you’ll feel right at home. Our friendly staff will help you begin your path to recovery and answer any questions along the way. Here are some of the warm faces and professional Physical therapists that you will encounter during your treatment at our clinic.
Brian Diaz, The founder of Upright Athlete and ActivEdge Fitness and Sports Performance, grew up in Chicago where he was a three-sport high school athlete competing in soccer, basketball, and baseball. He continued soccer at the collegiate level.
He received his Master’s degree in Physical Therapy (MPT) from the nationally ranked program at The University of Iowa. Brian is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is one of only two people in the Triangle area certified in Sportsmetrics ACL and knee injury prevention by the Cincinnati Sports Medicine group.
Brian is certified in Pilates Mat by Balanced Body and is a Level II Certified TRX® Suspension Training instructor. He has coached soccer locally for the top area clubs and the Durham Academy Men’s Varsity team.
Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Trigger Point Dry Needling
Sportsmetrics ACL knee injury Prevention
TRX Suspension Level II
Certified USA Triathlon Coach
Brian Diaz, PT, CSCS
Clinic Director and Physical Therapist
Mollie was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She graduated from Duke University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in psychology where she was also a member of the varsity women’s soccer team. During this time, she played with the US youth national soccer team (under 14-under23), winning the U20 FIFA Women's World Cup in 2012. After college, Mollie continued her soccer career, playing professionally with the Boston Breakers, NWSL and Apollon FC Ladies, Champions League.
In 2016 Mollie retired from professional soccer to peruse her passion for physical therapy and sports rehabilitation. She earned her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of North Carolina in 2019. Mollie’s professional interests include prevention and rehabilitation of athletic injuries, with a special focus on ACL injuries in youth soccer players.
Mollie Pathman, PT, DPT
Norah has experience treating patients from across the lifespan with a variety of orthopedic conditions and especially enjoys treating the pediatric and high school population. Norah uses a blend of hands on manual therapy and functional exercise to help her patients return to their sport or activity of choice and live a pain free, active lifestyle. Norah is a Certified Selective Functional Movement Assessment and Functional Movement Screen provider, in addition to being a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. With these certifications Norah is able to further assess the source of the injury causing pain or movement dysfunction and blend rehab techniques with performance enhancement to allow for safe return to sport.
Norah grew up in central Illinois where she attended University of Illinois for her undergraduate degree in Kinesiology. Norah then attended Duke University for her Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. Throughout her time at Duke, Norah was involved in a gymnastics outreach program, held leadership positions within her class and the APTA. Outside of physical therapy Norah enjoys training Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, hiking in the mountains and spending time with family and friends.
Norah Whitten, PT, DPT, CSCS
Ellen Langhi is our lead massage therapist and has been voted #1 in the Triangle area by Endurance Magazine. Ellen is a former Duke University basketball player who then became a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT) after college.
She has been working with ActivEdge for the past 5 years while still seeing clients and athletes at both Duke and UNC. Despite her allegiance to Duke, she has been the massage therapist for the UNC men’s and women’s basketball teams, and the UNC men’s tennis team for the last several seasons. She has added several athletes from Duke’s cross-country, track & field, and golf teams as well. She is passionate about helping her clients return to activity pain-free and ready to perform at a higher level.
Some of Ellen’s many massage techniques were written up in Endurance Magazine and reprinted on our website under Articles. Please call the studio to set up an appointment directly.
Dr. Sam Ray was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. She was a collegiate Division 1 swimmer and runner, and now enjoys CrossFit in addition to endurance sports.
Sam moved to Pittsburgh, PA in 2012, where she attended Duquesne University and received her undergraduate degrees in both Biology and Health Sciences. She continued her education at Duquesne University, where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2018.
Sam is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and has experience working with USA Shooting athletes at the international level. Sam focuses on incorporating functional movement and manual therapy into her treatment approach to maximize individual performance.
Rock Steady Boxing
ACSM Personal Training
Sam Ray, PT, DPT, CPT
Leah grew up in Huntersville, North Carolina and recently graduated from her dream school, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, in May 2019. While pursing a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science, she also was a member of the softball team.
Leah served as the team’s community service coordinator as well as one of the veteran leaders. Aside from softball, she enjoys, wakeboarding, snowboarding, and a variety of other outdoor activities.
In an attempt to apply to a Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, Leah is taking a year off to gain some experience in the field and finish some prerequisite classes. At ActivEdge, Leah works as a therapy aide and front desk manager.