Director, Center for Bionic Medicine
Shirley Ryan Abilitylab
My long-term goal is to develop clinically viable, simultaneous and proportional control systems for both upper and lower limb prostheses. Most importantly, I wish to see the myoelectric control improvements provided as a result of my research made available to all suitable amputees. I developed my technical skills at the University of New Brunswick, located in Fredericton, Canada, under the mentorship of Dr. Bernard Hudgins and Dr. Kevin Englehart. Drs. Hudgins and Englehart are widely regarded as experts in the field of myoelectric control and have both written seminal papers on the application of pattern recognition myoelectric control systems. I wished to broaden my exposure to different research labs during my doctoral studies and completed two internships, the first under the supervision of an electromyography expert, Prof. Roberto Merletti in Turin, Italy, and the second under Dr. Todd Kuiken at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Under the supervision of Prof. Merletti, I gained extensive experience in the collection and analysis of both monopolar and bipolar EMG signals. At the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, I completed high density electromyography of targeted muscle reinnervation amputee patients and learned to appreciate important clinical challenges preventing the adoption of pattern recognition systems. As my publication record demonstrates, I have been systematically developing strategies to overcome many of these challenges so that a clinically viable pattern recognition control system may be made to amputee patients. Furthermore, I have also worked extensively with targeted muscle reinnervation patients and have a great appreciation of how the surgery may benefit both upper and lower limb amputees. I am particularly excited to study the possibilities afforded through targeted reinnervation of forearm muscles.