Below you will find the areas of ongoing research being conducted by our faculty:
Stuart Binder-Macleod: Neural control of skeletal muscle force output; using functional electrical stimulation to improve the walking patterns of individuals who have sustained strokes; combining robotic and electrical stimulation to train stroke patients; combining fast treadmill training and functional electrical stimulation to train stroke patients to increase their mechanical efficiency during walking and become more functional community ambulators.
Kathy Brewer-Smyth: Evaluating neurological and neuroendocrine correlates of violent and other high risk behaviors of females; relationships between neuroendocrine production of salivary cortisol, childhood physical and sexual abuse, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and high risk behaviors of females including homicide and HIV risk; dietary and environmental influences on brain function and behavior, and prevention of neurological decline in populations at risk.
Carl Brown: Symptom clusters (depression, fatigue, anxiety, fatigue, pain) in outpatients receiving chemotherapy for cancer.
Linda Bucher: As the Nursing Research Facilitator at Christiana Care Health System, works with nurses (e.g., direct care, management, advanced practice), students (e.g., undergraduate, graduate) and faculty to identify clinical and administrative practice problems that are amenable to research.Provides leadership and expertise in the areas of study design, implementation, and data analysis; preparation of the IRB applications; submission of grants for funding; dissemination activities (e.g., journal articles, paper/poster presentations).
Nancy Cotugna: Nutrition for low-income populations, obesity, and dietetics education.
Irene Davis: The relationship between lower extremity structure, mechanics and injury; interventions aimed at altering faulty mechanics; the effect of barefoot and minimal footwear on mechanics.
Joseph DeRanieri: The use of technology and its impact on health care administrators; assessing the effects of smoking bans on psychiatric inpatients and mental health administrators.
Cynthia Diefenbeck: The study of psychosocial risk factors related to the development and exacerbation of cardiovascular disease, including stress and depression; the study of burnout in professional caregivers, including nurses.
David Edwards: Vascular Physiology Lab: Investigating the mechanisms of vascular dysfunction in patients with chronic kidney disease; collaboration with Bill Farquhar to study the vascular effects of dietary salt.
Bill Farquhar: Cardiovascular Research Lab (: examine blood pressure regulation and autonomic nervous system function in humans; the neural control of the circulation utilizing the technique of microneurography which allows measurement of efferent sympathetic outflow in humans; exploring the potential linkage between alterations in plasma osmolality and sympathetic outflow.
Cole Galloway: How neural, biomechanical, behavioral and environmental influences interact as infants learn to coordinate their early head, arm and leg behaviors for later skills such as reaching, sitting and walking. Overlapping projects are aimed at producing the technology and training for infant power mobility.
Nancy Getchell: Development of motor coordination and control in children with disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia, and developmental coordination disorder; the relationship among motor skill proficiency, physical activity and fitness, and obesity in young children.
Steve Goodwin: Collaboration with Fashion and Apparel department, examining the role ethnicity, culture and social pressures play in body image.
Lynn Hayes: Dissemination of Anti-smoking messages (based on prior findings, 18-24 year old designed posters to portray the adverse effects of tobacco use. Peer Art Gallery developed to have 18-24 year olds select the poster with most effective antismoking message); evaulating whether psychosocial outcomes in family caregivers of people with chronic disease differ, based on the format of online group support.
Judy Herrman: Adolescent perceptions of teen parenting; sexuality education for girls in juvenile detention; the effectiveness of infant simulators in changing teens' perceptions of teen parenting.
Greg Hicks: Improving physical function in older adults; testing of an exercise intervention for older adults with chronic low back pain and further refinement of intervention strategies for older adults with chronic back pain; epidemiologic studies of older adults with hip fracture.
Pia Inguito: Postoperative care of total joint replacement surgery patients and long-term adherence to regular exercise in older adults post hip fracture.
Amy Johnson: Improving neonatal outcome, particularly in high risk pregnancies and deliveries.Currently under development is a study to look at the effect of a skin-to-skin prenatal educational program on the reported experiences of first-time mothers beyond the birth experience.Focus is onrelationship of skin-to-skin prenatal education on maternal experience at three and six weeks’ post-delivery with target population as primigravida, healthy mothers 21-35 years old.
Tom Kaminski: Ankle instability; mild traumatic brain injuries in women's soccer; functional performance assessment for the lower extremity.
Tom Kepple: Development of software for the analysisand simulation of human movement; development of software for simulating the airborne phase of figure skating jumps; development of inverse kinematics software which will both reduce the effects of measurement error from motion capture data and provide results which are compatible with movement simulation software such as OpenSim and the previously mentioned figure skating application.
Paula Klemm: Online support for informal caregivers:psychosocial outcomes.
Chris Knight: How the nervous system controls muscular force and movement in adulthood, in the elderly and in individuals with movement disorders such as stroke or Parkinson's disease; applying physical activity interventions to restore good quality control and function.
Marie Fanelli Kuczmarski: Nutrition component of the Health Aging in Neighborhoods of Diversity across the Life Span (HANDLS) study, designed to examine the causes of health disparities, specifically the roles of race and socioeconomic status, on the risk for developing cerebrovascular and cardiovascular diseases and cognitive impairment.
Samuel Lee: Improving the function of individuals with central nervous system injury through the application of electrical stimulation to activate paralyzed or weakened muscles; the use of electrical stimulation as a tool: to study the physiologic characteristics of muscle and the central and peripheral nervous systems, to be applied as a rehabilitative or training method to improve muscle function and strength, and as a method to produce functional movement (FES) of impaired muscles.
Raelene Maser: Examining distal symmetric polyneuropathy and cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy in diabetic neuropathy with a particular interest in the assessment of nerve function and evaluating potential treatment modalities for nerve dysfunction.One current grant (i.e., National Institutes of Health INBRE grant) is examining the effect of a direct renin inhibitor (i.e., Aliskiren) on nerve dysfunction in persons with diabetes.Another grant, sponsored by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, is examining specific changes in cardiovascular autonomic nerve function and determinants of insulin sensitivity following bariatric surgery.
Mary Ann McLane: Naturally occurring viper venom protein which has the ability to inhibit melanoma cell activity; using confocal microscopy and atomic force microscopy to visualize the direct interactions between eristostatin and 6 types of melanoma cells; the role of natural killer cells on cancer cell function.
Chris Modlesky: Musculoskeletal health, with a special emphasis on children; use of magnetic resonance imaging in lab to assess bone structure and muscle quality in groups at high risk for fracture; using these imaging techniques to assess the effect of high-frequency, low-magnitude vibration on bone mass and structure in children with osteogenesis imperfecta.
Iva Obrushnikova: The effects of motivational interventions on increasing levels of physical activity and social interaction among children and youth with emotional and/or behavioral disorders, including autism spectrum disorders; strategies facilitating inclusion of children with disabilities in general physical education.
Beth Orsega-Smith: Physical activity behavior and psychosocial measures in older adults; investigating caloric expenditure and psychosocial determinants of playing Wii in older adults;assessing the barriers to physical activity participation through the use of photovoice; pictures and words.
Michelle Parent: The generation of a protective immune response against a Yersinia pestis infection; developing a mouse model in order to investigate the pathogenesis of Vibrio parahaemolyticus.
Michael Peterson: Impact of media, social networks, and marketing on health, health behaviors, and disease prevention; body image perceptions and correlation with health outcomes and behavior; relationships between the psychosocial workplace, employee stress experience, and organizational health.
Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff: Optimizing function and independence of neuro-compromised older adults living in the community setting; development and testing effectiveness of self-efficacy based restorative care programs for individuals with Parkinson’s disease; testing objective measures for usefulness in assessing Parkinson’s disease motor symptoms (bradykinesia, balance, rigidity, and tremor); investigating the impact of psychosocial factors (i.e., self-efficacy beliefs, mood) on exercise outcomes in Parkinson’s patients and stroke survivors.
Kathy Riley-Lawless: Improving the quality and safety of care provided to children with chronic conditions and their families.
Darcy Reisman: Neuro-rehabilitation through interventions related to physiological and neural mechanisms of motor control; combining knowledge of neural mechanisms with that of movement deficits; the development of physiologically sound interventions that target specific impairments to facilitate the recovery of function after stroke.
Bill Rose: Experimental studies and mathematical modeling of hemodynamics and cardiovascular control; applications of mathematics and signal processing to biomechanics.
Katherine Rudolph: The control of locomotion in people with knee osteoarthritis, post-stroke hemiparesis and older adults; improving the lives of people with difficulty ambulating due to pain and diminshed motor control; development of innovative rehabilitation devices and clinical trials in which novel rehabilitation paradigms are developed and tested.
John Scholz: Study of mechanisms underlying the coordination of functional movement tasks in humans, including the study of coordination disorders in persons with neurological impairments resulting from a stroke and novel treatment approaches to improving motor function in such persons.
Kristin Scrabis-Fletcher: Personal and social factors influencing student experience in physical education.
Janet Selway: Merging trauma, motor vehicle crash and driving record databases to identify predictors of motor vehicle crashes in older adults; determining the combined effects of aging and alcohol on simulated driving.
Lynn Snyder-Mackler: Knee and shoulder rehabilitation and neuromuscular electrical stimulation. Currently developing rehabilitation programs to enhance the recovery of muscle strength and function in older patients with osteoarthritis following total knee replacement surgery (nearly a half-million knee replacements are performed in the United States every year). Also working on a non-surgical approach to rehabilitating torn anterior cruciate ligaments in selected patients and effective rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction.
Steven Stanhope: Helping subjects reach their optimal level of function when an injury, disease or other health related condition results in physical disability; rehabilitation biomechanics and the clinical application of human motion capture, analysis and simulation methodologies.; gait, balance, prosthetics and orthotics, modeling pediatric obesity, joint stiffness, bone shape, rapid virtual prototyping of advanced prostheses and orthoses. Past research has included a broad range of patient conditions including: limb sparing procedures in osteogenic sarcomas, femoral neuropathies, Proteus syndrome, chronic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, osteogenesis imperfecta, amputation, post polio syndrome, cerebral palsy, cerebellar ataxia and aging.
Buz Swanik: The neuromechanics of joint instability; using different musculoskeletal pathologies as models to test theories surrounding this sudden loss coordination including osteoarthritis, ankle sprains and shoulder laxity. By simultaneously measuring sensorimotor characteristics like joint position sense, behavioral attributes(risk-taking, mental toughness) and biomechanical outcomes (muscle stiffness regulation or joint alignment) studies identify how unintentional injuries may originate from mental errors in judgment or coordination by simulating these events in a safe, controlled laboratory setting.
Erlinda Wheeler: Determining whether telephone intervention will improve patients’ adherence to weight management program after bariatric surgery; investigating whether racial differences exist in the length of stay of hospitalizedpatients with CHF to compare hospital length of stay of patientswith CHF with depressionand patients with CHF and no depression.
Joe Zeni: Functional outcomes following total knee replacement surgery; biomechanical changes that occur after surgery and may lead to the progression of arthritis on the non-operated limb; developing and testing novel rehabilitation strategies to reduce abnormal joint loading and improve symmetry between the limbs.