HMBL Header

HMBL Team

Faculty and Staff
Mark S. Redfern, PhD
RakiƩ Cham, PhD
April J. Chambers, PhD
Arash Mahboobin, PhD
Kurt E. Beschorner, PhD
Patrick J. Loughlin, PhD
Jarad Prinkey, MS
Jenna M. Trout, BS

Graduate Students
Sarah Hemler
Arian Iraqi
Zach Merrill
Seyed Reza M.Moghaddam
Erika Pliner
Stephanie Wiltman

Undergraduate Students
Elizabeth Bottorff
Grace Bova
Danielle Charbonneau
John Driggers
Michael Limbacher
Ellen Martin
Ken Pechtl
Aiden Reuter
Rushil Shah
Vani Sundaram

Affiliated Faculty and Researchers

Previous Faculty, Staff, and Students

Faculty and Staff

Mark S. Redfern, PhD

Vice Provost for Research
Professor - Departments of Bioengineering, Otolaryngology, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation

Education:

  • BS Engineering Sciences, University of Michigan, 1978
  • MS Prosthetics, New York University, 1980
  • MS University of Michigan, Bioengineering, 1982
  • PhD Bioengineering, University of Michigan, 1988

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Redfern's research for the past 15 years has focused on sensory integration processes in human postural control. He has been investigating the weighting of vision, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensory information. Subject populations of particular interest have been healthy young and older adults, patients with vestibular disorders, and children with otitis media. He has investigated the influence of different aspects of visual motion (frequency, amplitude, and peripheral/central) on postural responses.

Selected Publications:

  • Sparto PJ, Aizenstein H, VanSwearingen J, Rosano C, Perera S, Studenski S, Furman J, Redfern M: "Delays in auditory-cued step initiation are related to increased volume of white matter hyperintensities in older adults." Experimental Brain Research 188(4):633-640, 2008.
  • Jacob RG, Redfern MS, Furman, JM: "Space and motion discomfort and abnormal balance in patients with anxiety disorders." Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, [EPub ahead of Print], July 2008.
  • Beschorner K, Lovell M, Higgs CF, Redfern MS: "A mixed-lubrication model for shoe-floor friction applied to pin-on-disk apparatus." ASME Journal of Tribology, April 2008.

RakiƩ Cham, PhD

Associate Professor - Department of Bioengineering

Education:

  • BS, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1993
  • MS, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 1995
  • PhD, University of Pittsburgh, Bioengineering, 2000

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Cham is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a bioengineer by training and her research expertise and interests are focused on postural strategies generated in response to sensory and motor perturbations during walking in various populations. Other interests of Dr. Cham include the impact of age and obesity on body segment parameters.

Selected Publications:

  • Cook J, Baker NA, Cham R, Cidboy E, Redfern MS: "Measurements of wrist and finger postures: a comparison of goniometric and motion capture techniques." Applied Biomechanics, 23(1): 70-78, 2007.
  • Cham R, Studenski SA, Perera S, Bohnen NI: "Striatal dopaminergic denervation and gait in healthy adults." Experimental Brain Research, 185(3):391-398, 2008.
  • Cham R, Redfern MS: "Biomechanics of trailing leg response to slipping: Evidence of interlimb and intralimb coordination." accepted Gait & Posture, September 2008.

University Webpage

April J. Chambers, PhD

Director, HMBL
Research Assistant Professor

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2003
  • MS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2005
  • PhD Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2011

Research Interests:

  • April J. Chambers, PhD is a Research Assistant Professor of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Chambers is a bioengineer with research expertise in the fields of gait biomechanics and fall prevention. Dr. Chambers also serves as the Laboratory Director of the Human Movement and Balance Laboratory. She is particularly interested in injury prevention in healthy and clinical young/elderly adult populations. Dr. Chambers is currently working on projects that examine fall risk in older adult amputees, muscle fatigue during long term standing or walking, the shoe-floor interface during slipping, and obesity effects on body composition. Dr. Chambers is also interested in ergonomics, product design, and translational research.

Selected Publications:

University Webpage

Arash Mahboobin, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Education:

  • BS Azad University, Biomedical Engineering, 1998
  • MS University of Illinois, General Engineering, 2002
  • PhD Electrical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2007

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Mahboobin is currently a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, with research interests spanning computational biomechanics, human gait biomechanics, human postural control, humanoid robotics, bio-signal processing, and assistive devices. His research activity includes experimental and computational efforts focused on human movement and balance, specifically analysis and modeling of human postural control and gait biomechanics, with the overall goal of mobility improvement and fall prevention/reduction in older adults as well as in persons with balance and gait deficits.

Selected Publications:

Kurt E. Beschorner, PhD

Research Assistant Professor

Education:

  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004
  • PhD Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2008

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Beschorner's research focuses core competencies in whole-body biomechanics and biotribology to prevent occupational and clinical falls. Dr. Beschorner's current research topics include 1) developing and applying innovative methods to model and assess the tribological interaction between shoe and floor surfaces in order to prevent slips and falls; 2) identify the personal and environmental factors that contribute to falls from ladders and develop strategies to reduce these falls; and 3) assessing the negative effects of multifocal lens glasses (bifocals/progressive lens glasses) on walking balance and identifying compensation strategies that improve balance.

Selected Publications:

Patrick J. Loughlin, PhD

Professor of Bioengineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering

Education:

  • BS Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, 1985
  • MS Bioengineering, University of Utah, 1988
  • PhD Electrical Engineering, University of Washington, 1992

Research Interests:

  • Dr. Loughlin has been engaged in human balance studies for over 20 years. His interests include multisensory integration and motor control; haptics and vibrotactile feedback; brain-computer interfaces; quantitative systems modeling; and nonstationary signal processing.

Selected Publications:

University Webpage

Jarad Prinkey, MS

Research Engineer

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2000
  • MS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2002

Research Interests:

Jenna M. Trout BS

Lab Manager

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Research Interests:

Click here to return to the top of the page

Graduate Students

Sarah Hemler

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, 2015

    Research Interests:

    • Biomechanics
    • Tribology
    • Fall Prevention
    Current Projects:
    • Influence of shoe wear on the risk of slipping; shoe replacement threshold development

Arian Iraqi

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • MS Mechanical Engineering with emphasis on Structural Mechanics, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden, 2013
  • Bachelor of Engineering (Honors) Mechanical, Multimedia University, Malaysia, 2011

Research Interests:

  • Tribology
  • Biomechanics
  • Computational Engineering
Current Projects:
  • Comparison of Interfacial Fluid Pressures Generated Across Common Shoe-Floor Friction Testing Apparatuses

Zach Merrill

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2013

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Gait Analysis
  • Prosthetics

Current Projects:

  • Obesity and Body Segment Parameters in Working Adults

Seyed Reza M.Moghaddam

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • MS Industrial Engineering, Ergonomics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2013
  • MS Bioengineering, Biomechanics, Iran University of Science and Technology, 2012
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, Sharif University of Technology, 2008

Research Interests:

  • Computational Engineering
  • Tribology
  • Biomechanics

Current Projects:

  • Computational Modeling of Shoe-Floor Friction

Erika Pliner

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • MS Industrial Engineering, Ergonomics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2015
  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2014

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Fall Prevention
  • Postural Control

Current Projects:

  • Ladder climbing factors that affect recovery of falls from ladders
  • Impact of ladder use and a secondary task on balance

Stephanie Wiltman

Graduate Student Researcher (PhD)

Education:

  • BS Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • BS Psychology, Virginia Tech, 2015

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Gait Analysis
  • Blast Biomechanics

Current Projects:

  • In vivo effects of prolonged standing on articular cartilage and lower extremity physiological responses for healthy and obese individuals

Click here to return to the top of the page

Undergraduate Students

Elizabeth Bottorff

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • Mathematics Minor
  • Mechanical Engineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics

Grace Bova

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2018

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics

Danielle Charbonneau

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • Mechanical Engineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Fall Prevention
  • Tribology

John Driggers

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2019

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Orthopaedics

Michael Limbacher

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2019

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics

Ellen Martin

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2019
  • Mechanical Engineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Full Body Biomechanics
  • Slips and Falls

Ken Pechtl

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Rehabilitation Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • Bioengineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Fall Prevention
  • Postural Control

Aiden Reuter

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • Mechanical Engineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Fall Prevention
  • Postural Control

Rushil Shah

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Industrial Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2018
  • Mechanical Engineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics
  • Fall Prevention
  • Postural Control

Vani Sundaram

Undergraduate Student Researcher

Education:

  • BS Mechanical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 2017
  • Biongineering Minor

Research Interests:

  • Biomechanics

Click here to return to the top of the page