There is a pressing need for an increase in the number of scientists and clinicians in the profession of prosthetics and orthotics with advanced degrees to pursue research and direct the associated clinical education programs. In view of the rise of terroristic warfare, increases in the incidence of diabetes and obesity, and the aging population, the shortage of basic and translational research is limiting critical advances in this field. The purpose of this application is to request a renewal of a successful predoctoral training grant designed to ameliorate the research base of prosthetics and orthotics. In this training program, competent researchers are being trained in the clinically relevant physiological sciences and engineering. The trainees are exposed to the clinical practice of prosthetics and orthotics to better inform the research and to develop sensitivity to the needs of the patients. The students are also educated in the responsible conduct of research and biomedical medical ethics in a problem-based setting. Twenty-three faculty members from basic science and clinical departments and centers from Georgia Institute of Technology, Emory University and Georgia State University and the Shepherd Center constitute the training faculty for this program, which is based in the School of Applied Physiology at Georgia Tech. The School provides a unique setting for this program given that the focus of interest is on movement science. The faculty investigates mechanisms of motor control from molecular through systems and behavioral levels using physiological and engineering approaches. The School is also the home of the first entry-level masters level degree program in prosthetics and orthotics in the United States. The trainees work closely with the students and faculty of this clinical masters program to ensure the clinical relevance of the training. The program includes a core curriculum in physiology, neuroscience and biomechanics, and a seminar in which problems in contemporary rehabilitation sciences are discussed. Courses in rehabilitation related science and technology have been developed with faculty members in the Division of Physical Therapy at Emory. The program is flexible in accommodating students with different backgrounds and different research goals. The program of study lasts from 4-6 years and culminates in the PhD degree from The Georgia Institute of Technology with a focus in prosthetics and orthotics

Public Health Relevance

The purpose of this predoctoral training program is to prepare students for careers in research related to prosthetics and orthotics to meet the needs of a growing and important area of rehabilitation medicine. The program consists of a flexible curriculum in physiological sciences, rehabilitation sciences, and engineering, with exposure to clinical practice and training in ethics and in the responsible conduct of research. The program features an extensive training faculty in clinical and basic research, and close interaction with a clinical master's program in prosthetics and orthotics.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1-DRG-D (DL))
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Nitkin, Ralph M
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Georgia Institute of Technology
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Farrell, Brad J; Prilutsky, Boris I; Kistenberg, Robert S et al. (2014) An animal model to evaluate skin-implant-bone integration and gait with a prosthesis directly attached to the residual limb. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 29:336-49
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