The SOR Traveling Fellowship supported my travel to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to work with Dr. Jason Franz for 2 weeks, assisting with two separate studies utilizing dynamic B-mode ultrasound imaging of tendon and muscle changes during gait. I was able to learn and use best-practice protocols in both the acquisition and processing of imaging data, and interact closely with the other members of the Applied Biomechanics Laboratory. One of the more surprisingly important aspects of the experience was close interaction with other members of the Lab and immersion in a very different laboratory flow. I presented a seminar to the Exercise Physiology, Biomedical Engineering, and Physical Therapy departments based on my previous work in force absorption both in humans and in other bipedal animals. We are currently working toward collaborating on a grant to utilize dynamic ultrasound imaging to translate my post-doctoral work examining the control of steep descending gait in bipedal animals (birds) to further work examining how humans control steep descent. Additionally, I am working with colleagues at the University of Montana to develop innovative uses of the technology that apply to current lines of inquiry in rehabilitation from ACL reconstruction as well as in tendon mechanics in running.
I would like to thank everyone at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, particularly Dr. Franz and Dr. Michael Lewek, for hosting me and providing a quality experience. Special mention should be given to Yana Ginzburg, a physical therapy student at UNC-Chapel Hill, who hosted me for the full two weeks. Thank you as well to the Section on Research for supporting my efforts to expand my research agenda.
Audrey Elias, PT, DPT, PhD
My Traveling Fellow support from the Section on Research allowed me to travel to Washington University School of Medicine and spend 4 days in December 2017 in Dr. Catherine Lang’s Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. We are working on a perspective manuscript that brings together my research in infants and her research in adults. We are both using wearable sensors to measure full day arm use in the natural environment. We are almost ready to submit the manuscript as a Special Communication to Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. We have communicated with the Editors, and they see our article as a potential fit. We plan to submit it for peer review by the end of May, 2018.
In addition to the dedicated time for the collaborative work we did on the paper, my research career was facilitated by additional experiences. I enjoyed interacting with the laboratory members and learned more about laboratory management. I was able to get advice on career development and grant development from Dr. Lang and other faculty. Specifically, I had the opportunity to present my aims for an upcoming grant submission in a faculty feedback session.
Thank you to everyone at Washington University School of Medicine for hosting me, and thank you to the Section on Research for supporting my travel. Getting away from my day-to-day routine and emerging myself in the environment of another university was a very important component of the experience. It resulted in an incredibly valuable and productive week, directly for our paper and indirectly for my professional development.
Beth A. Smith, PT, DPT, PhD