The Center for Human Movement Science was established in 1997, and is one of the core research laboratories at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Currently the Center has a Motion Analysis Laboratory, an Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Laboratory, and a Neuromuscular Control Laboratory. The Motion Analysis Laboratory has a Peak Performance Motus motion analysis system with eight cameras, two force plates, and a 16 channel telemetry electromyography (EMG) system. These hardware combined with our customized MS3D computer program package for biomechanical data processing and reduction allow us to study three-dimensional kinematic and kinetic data and muscle activities of human movements through statistical analyses or biomechanical modeling.
The Interdisciplinary Human Movement Science Laboratory is equipped with a Vicon-Peak motion analysis system with eight cameras, a split-belt treadmill instrumented with two force plates and a virtual reality system, a telemetry EMG system, and a isometric and isokinetic strength testing system. These systems allow us to study interactions between neuromuscular controls of human movements and a variety of external environments.
The Center for Human Movement Science has a group of talented faculty members involved in a variety of important research projects related to child health and development, rehabilitation of neuromuscular disorders and injuries, prevention and rehabilitation of musculoskeletal system injuries and disorders, biomechanics of neuromuscular and musculoskeletal systems, and biomechanics of sports techniques.
Dr. Sadye Paez Errickson is an expert in health promotion. Her research is focused on health and wellness promotion for disenfranchised populations. She is currently working on a study for PROMOTING positive youth development among Latina adolescents. Dr. Errickson is also working on understanding the role and impact of pro bono service, and cultural competence and service learning of physical therapy students in community engagement. Her current work takes place in Antigua, Guatemala.
Dr. Michael Gross, PT, PhD, FAPTA, has expertise in the area of clinical biomechanics and lower extremity orthopaedics. His research areas include lower extremity injury prevention and the effects of foot orthoses on lower extremity function. His current research is focused on the effects of foot orthoses on balance in older adults and the effects of barefoot running and running with alternative shoe wear on lower quarter function.
Dr. Michael Lewek, PT, PhD, has research expertise in biomechanics and the neuromuscular control of movement. His general research area involves locomotor training for individuals following stroke. The specific projects that he is currently working on involve augmenting movement errors and the addition of visual and proprioceptive feedback for improving gait speed and spatiotemporal symmetry post-stroke.
Dr. Karen McCulloch, PT, PhD, NCS, is an expert in neurological rehabilitation and standardized test development, with a focus on adult stroke and brain injury. Her current projects involve military related traumatic brain injury including the development of a functional assessment of dual- and multi-task performance to assist in return to duty decision making for injured service members. She is a Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education Fellow, serving as a consultant to the Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division of the Army Office of the Surgeon General on issues related to traumatic brain injury.
Dr. Vicki Mercer, PT, PhD, has expertise in postural control and neurological rehabilitation. Her primary research focus is on improving balance and preventing falls in geriatric and post-stroke patient populations. Dr. Mercer has conducted laboratory-based studies of various postural control mechanisms and interventions, as well as more community-based studies. She developed a partnership with multiple community organizations, universities, and community colleges to establish a successful fall prevention program in western North Carolina.
Dr. Rick Segal PT, PhD, FAPTA, is another expert in neurological rehabilitation. His research interests include neuroplasticity in the central nervous system and management of spasticity using neuroplasticity in humans and anatomy and physiology of the functional organization of lower limb muscles. His current projects include effects of pharmacologically induced weakness of spastic muscles on ambulation in people with stroke or traumatic head injury, spinal circuits and the musculoskeletal system, operant conditioning of tibialis anterior h-reflexes in human subjects, magnetic resonance analysis of intrinsic foot musculature during Running, and using reflex conditioning to restore spinal cord function.
Dr. Deborah Thorpe PT, PhD, PCS, has been a pediatric physical therapist for 22 years and is a Pediatric Certified Specialist with the American Physical Therapy Association. Her research is focused on fitness and physical activity interventions and standardization of aerobic and anaerobic measures of fitness for persons with developmental disabilities across the lifespan. She recently completed a NIH K23 award in which she investigated the development of secondary conditions and a community-based aquatic intervention for adults with CP.
Dr. Bing Yu, PhD, is an expert in Biomechanics. His research interests include biomechanics of musculoskeletal injuries in sports, biomechanical modeling of musculoskeletal systems, and biomechanics of sports techniques. He is currently working on a research project of using a newly designed knee extension constraint brace to reduce ACL injury rate and for rehabilitation following ACL reconstructions to reduce ACL re-injury rate. He is also working with US Olympic Committee and USA Track & Field to help elite US athletes improve their techniques and performance in Olympic Games and World Championships.
Advanced technology and research faculty with a wide array of expertise form an ideal environment for biomechanics and neuromuscular control related research in the Center for Human Movement Science. We strongly encourage persons interested in performing research in human movement science to contact the Center for Human Movement Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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