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Research

Vision Statement: To create predictive, biomechanical models that will improve the functional ability and quality of life of individuals with musculoskeletal disorders.

The vision, mission, and values that guide our research and our lab culture are described further in the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab Guidebook

Musculoskeletal Simulations of Hand Function

The wrist and hand are one of the most complex joint systems in the human body. To study this system, we are performing experimental and computational studies. For example, we are creating simulations of hand-object contact and designing custom force sensors to measure finger contact forces.

Collaborations: Higa Masura, Ph.D. and Scott Banks, Ph.D.

Funding: Working on it!

Machine Learning to Enhance Biomechanical Analyses

Computer simulations of human movement involve hundreds of interdependent parameters. We are leveraging recent advances in machine learning to enhance analyses of complex, multi-dimensional, biomechanical simulation data sets.

Collaborations: Joel Harley, Ph.D. 

Current Funding: “A Transfer Learning Framework for Creating Subject-Specific Musculoskeletal Models of the Hand” (R21 EB030068, NIH NIBIB Trailblazer R21 Award)

Past Funding: “Learning Thumb Biomechanics from Large Simulation Datasets” (2019 Outstanding Researcher Award, NIH NCSRR Pilot Project)

Thumb Osteoarthritis

Carpometacarpal osteoarthritis (CMC OA) is a disabling disease marked by pain and functional loss of the thumb. We are studying this disease by examining the biomechanical, neuromuscular, and somatosensory mechanisms that contribute to the symptomology of CMC OA.

Collaborations: Kyle Allen, Ph.D.; Yenisel Cruz-Almeida, M.S.P.H., Ph.D.; Scott Banks, Ph.D.; Kimberly Sibille, M.A., Ph.D.; Thomas Wright, M.D.

Current Funding: “Carpometacarpal Osteoarthritis: Towards Identification of Biomechanical, Neuromuscular, and Somatosensory Mechanisms” (CTSI NIH KL2 Scholar Program)

Ankle Syndesmosis

Ankle syndesmosis injuries occur when the ligamentous connection between the distal tibia and fibula is damaged. Accurately restoring alignment between the tibia and fibula is challenging. We are examining how patient-specific anatomical factors and surgical techniques influence clinical outcomes and ankle health.

Collaborations: Christopher W. Reb, D.O.

Current Funding: Working on it!

Shoulder Biomechanics

Shoulder pathologies, such as rotator cuff tears, are a common source of pain and workplace injury. We are creating an interdisciplinary research framework to examine shoulder pathologies using both clinical and engineering tools.

Collaborations: Federico Pozzi, P.T., Ph.D.

Funding: Working on it!