Jill Higginson (left), CBER director, with symposium keynote speaker Carolee Winstein of the University of Southern California.

CBER celebration

USC's Winstein discusses post-stroke memory formation and memory learning

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3:39 p.m., May 9, 2013--The University of Delaware’s Center for Biomedical Engineering Research (CBER) celebrated a decade of research and service to the University community May 3, when it held its 10th annual biomechanics research symposium. 

“The center’s original goal was to promote interdisciplinary research,” commented Jill Higginson, associate professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, and director of the CBER. “As we enter our 11th year, we are expanding our mission to include more undergraduate research exposure for students, while improving the center’s industry partnerships and outreach efforts.”

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A key part of this new focus begins with successful collaboration – a hallmark of the biomechanics research symposium, where many of CBER’s 40 affiliated faculty members and students discuss research on a wide range of topics, from engineering to math to applied physiology. Higginson also was pleased to welcome professors from Arcadia University and Thomas Jefferson University who attended the event. 

This year’s event featured a keynote address by Carolee Winstein, professor in the Department of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy at the University of Southern California. She is the first female keynote to speak on CBER day and the first to represent the physical therapy discipline. 

“Hearing from someone just slightly outside of your area of expertise provides an opportunity to creatively identify how the techniques used in your own discipline might be useful in other disciplines too,” commented Higginson.

Winstein runs an interdisciplinary research program focused on understanding control, rehabilitation and recovery of goal-directed movements that emerge from a dynamic brain-behavior system in brain-damaged conditions. In her talk, titled “Learning and Memory Processes: Mechanisms and Application to Task-Oriented Practice for Stroke Recovery,” she discussed her current work which focuses primarily on post-stroke motor memory formation and motor learning. 

The day’s events also featured 12 podium presentations and approximately 40 poster presentations by UD graduate and undergraduate researchers. 

According to Elaine Nelson, staff assistant for CBER, attendance at the event has been on the rise. “Enrollment has been over 100 each year and has been steadily increasing over the last five years,” she said.

Article by Gregory Holt

Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson

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