Gelsy Torres-Oviedo, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Bioengineering

Tel. 412-624-2660 (office) Email:  Curriculum Vitae

Prof. Torres-Oviedo started her faculty position in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Prior to that, she completed her postdoctoral training in Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. She received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University in 2007 and she graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2001 with a B.S. in Physics.

Dr. Torres-Oviedo is interested in understanding learning mechanisms underlying the adaptation of gait and how to stimulate them to rehabilitate the gait of patients with cortical lesions. She uses psychophysical experiments and computational tools for investigating how prior motor experiences influence how we learn and how we generalize new motor patterns to novel situations. Outside the lab, Dr. Torres-Oviedo enjoys playing with her daughter, indoor and outdoor jogging , and watching movies with her husband.










NicoNicolas Velasquez, M.S Lab Engineer



Nicolas graduated from the University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, France in 2014, with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. After working for a year at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), in the Detectors Technologies department, he moved to the United States in 2015 to pursue his master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh. He graduated in December 2016 with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering, with a specialization on biomechanics. His masters research was conducted in the lab, and focused on the explicit control of step timing during gait in a split belt environment. After graduating, he joined the lab full time to continue his research as well as to work as a lab engineer. 

Nicolas is interested in understanding the relationship between different aspects of gait, and applying biomechanical principles to ultimately help improve rehabilitation processes for people suffering from walking impairment.  Outside the lab, Nicolas enjoys playing sports, cooking and travelling. 






Dulce PictureDulce Mariscal, B.S. Research Assistant



Dulce received her Mechanical Engineering degree from Universidad Del Turabo, Puerto Rico. Dulce is working as a research assistant in the Human Movement Research Laboratory. Her research focus is in understanding how awareness can affect the way people learn and transfer walking patterns.

Dulce is working to acquire more research experience to pursue a PhD degree in Bioengineering. Outside of the lab, Dulce enjoys playing soccer, swimming and outdoor activities.









Pablo Iturralde, M.S. Graduate Student


Pablo received his Electrical Engineer degree from the Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay in 2009, with a focus on Telecommunications and Signal Processing. In 2012 he received his Master's in EE degree from the same university. His dissertation topic was "Signal Processing in Ultrasound Imaging and Temporal Inversion".

In 2012 he moved to the U.S.A to start his PhD in the Bioengineering program at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing the Neural Engineering track. He is a Fulbright Scholar. Since 2014 he is also a trainee at the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition's Graduate Training Program. His current interests lie in understanding the nervous system as the controller of human movement, and particularly locomotion, from a systems perspective. This includes understanding how proprioceptive information is integrated, how this information is processed to generate motor outputs and how the redundancy of degrees of freedom in the musculo-skeletal system is accounted for. Ultimately, Pablo hopes this understanding will lead to more efficient and effective rehabilitation therapies and technologies for people with motor impairments.






Carly Sombric, B.S. Graduate Student


Carly completed her BS in Biomedical Engineering in 2013 with a focus on biomechanics at the University of Rochester. Carly is pursuing her Ph.D. in Bioengineering in the Human Movement Research Laboratory under Dr. Torres-Oviedo at the University of Pittsburgh.

Carly is interested in the interpretation and response of human gait to proprioceptive stimuli. She is specifically interested in applications in gait control through stimuli manipulation. When not in the lab, Carly enjoys baking for lab meetings, visual art, and animals.








YasharYashar Aucie, B.S. Graduate Student


Yashar graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in March 2015 with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Bioengineering with a concentration in biomechanics, and a minor in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently working on a project to determine if there is a correlation between effort and adaptation to split belt walking in healthy controls and stroke patients.











     Alessandro Salatiello, M.S.    Graduate Student  Alessandro Salatiello


Alessandro earned his Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Bioengineering from the University of Pavia (Italy) after defending a thesis focused on brain-driven wheelchairs. He then worked as an Early Stage Marie Curie Researcher at BitBrain Technologies (Zaragoza, Spain) on the development of a hybrid, non-invasive BCI for mind wandering detection. He joined the Lab in August 2016 and is currently a Neural Engineering track student, pursuing his Ph.D. in Bioengineering. 










Richard Hollenbach     Ricky Hollenbach,    Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ricky Hollenbach is an undergraduate student at the University of Pittsburgh. He is in his junior year studying mechanical engineering with minors in mathematics and German. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He began voluntary research at the laboratory in January of 2016. Ricky is planning on attending graduate school in mechanical engineering in the field of either control systems or thermo-fluids.Outside of research, Ricky is very active on campus as a resident assistant, a teaching assistant, a member of the student government cabinet, and an officer of Tau Beta Pi Honors Engineering Society.