The goal of this competitive renewal proposal is to continue the highly successful Interdisciplinary Engineering Career Development Center in Movement and Rehabilitation Sciences created by a consortium of leading institutions in the field, including Northwestern University, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, University of California Irvine, Medical University of South Carolina/Clemson University, University of North Carolina/North Carolina State University, Case Western Reserve University, Marquette University, Stanford University, and University of Delaware. The mission of our program is to develop top scholars with engineering and other quantitative backgrounds to become successful rehabilitation scientists in translational research. This is the only program of its kind to focus on engineering-trained investigators. We believe that these individuals, who already possess strong quantitative, problem-solving, programming, signal analysis and mechatronics skills, are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact on the field of quantitative movement and rehabilitation sciences (MRS) and its translation to rehabilitative care. The proposed career development program will provide scholars with: 1) In-depth understanding of rehabilitation patient-centered clinical problems; 2) Career development opportunities and mentoring to broaden their MRS research and training; 3) Mentoring in translational research; 4) Technology transfer and translation training to increase the impact of their work. We will accomplish these goals by using a dual-mentorship model with both a senior engineering faculty member and a senior clinical rehabilitation faculty member assigned to each scholar. Moreover, new this cycle, scholars will participate in a clinical bootcamp followed by a mentored clinical experience that will allow them to integrate their newly gained knowledge of pathophysiology to clinical manifestations of movement disorders. Also, scholars will benefit from increase exposure and networking through organized conference sessions. Finally, they will be participating in grant review groups made up of fellow scholars and a member of the executive committee. These experiences are designed to help our scholar?s identify significant clinical needs related to their domains of expertise as well as to become successful rehabilitation scientists. The participating institutions have a long and recognized history of rehabilitation research including studies on the neurobiology of movement behavior and dysfunction, rehabilitation robotics, neural machine interfaces for the restoration of sensorimotor function, and musculoskeletal modeling. Extensive research is being performed in these areas, across the continuum from fundamental animal and human studies to the development of novel rehabilitation paradigms. This impressive array of established research programs provides a fertile ground for developing our engineering scholars and fostering new interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaborations to advance our field. We intend to support a total of four scholars in year one of the career development program, and six scholars in subsequent years. The program will provide support for two years for each scholar.

Public Health Relevance

As a result of wars, aging demographics, and the evolving needs of children with developmental and other disabilities, the number of individuals with movement disabilities continues to increase, revealing a dire need for developing more effective and efficient rehabilitation interventions. The proposed program will develop a new generation of movement and rehabilitation engineering scientists who can bridge the gap between the laboratory and the clinic. This program will have an impact on the future of rehabilitative care in the nation.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Physician Scientist Award (Program) (PSA) (K12)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZHD1)
Program Officer
Nitkin, Ralph M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Northwestern University at Chicago
Physical Medicine & Rehab
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Sawers, Andrew; Hafner, Brian J (2018) A study to assess whether fixed-width beam walking provides sufficient challenge to assess balance ability across lower limb prosthesis users. Clin Rehabil 32:483-492
Bastas, Gerasimos; Fleck, Joshua J; Peters, Richard A et al. (2018) IMU-based gait analysis in lower limb prosthesis users: Comparison of step demarcation algorithms. Gait Posture 64:30-37
Zelik, Karl E; Honert, Eric C (2018) Ankle and foot power in gait analysis: Implications for science, technology and clinical assessment. J Biomech 75:1-12
Sawers, Andrew; Hafner, Brian J (2018) Narrowing beam-walking is a clinically feasible approach for assessing balance ability in lower-limb prosthesis users. J Rehabil Med 50:457-464
Sawers, Andrew; Hafner, Brian (2018) Validation of the Narrowing Beam Walking Test in Lower Limb Prosthesis Users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 99:1491-1498.e1
Engdahl, Susannah M; Gates, Deanna H (2018) Reliability of upper limb and trunk joint angles in healthy adults during activities of daily living. Gait Posture 60:41-47
Havens, Kathryn L; Mukherjee, Tatri; Finley, James M (2018) Analysis of biases in dynamic margins of stability introduced by the use of simplified center of mass estimates during walking and turning. Gait Posture 59:162-167
Kim, Janis; Major, Matthew J; Hafner, Brian et al. (2018) Frequency and Circumstances of Falls Reported by Ambulatory Unilateral Lower Limb Prosthesis Users: A Secondary Analysis. PM R :
Lawrence, Rebekah L; Ellingson, Arin M; Ludewig, Paula M (2018) Validation of single-plane fluoroscopy and 2D/3D shape-matching for quantifying shoulder complex kinematics. Med Eng Phys 52:69-75
Cowley, Jeffrey; Resnik, Linda; Wilken, Jason et al. (2017) Movement quality of conventional prostheses and the DEKA Arm during everyday tasks. Prosthet Orthot Int 41:33-40

Showing the most recent 10 out of 49 publications