Pitt | Swanson Engineering
About Dr. Debski

Richard E. Debski, Ph.D.

Richard E. Debski, Ph.D. received both his B.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1997) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, he is a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and a William Kepler Whiteford Faculty Fellow. He serves as the co-director of the Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory, has a secondary appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and participates in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. His research has received several awards including the 2003 Achilles Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Research Award from the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopaedic Sports Medicine; the 2004 Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award from the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award – Junior Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh, and the 2011 Richard S. Skalak Best Paper Award from the ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. In addition, he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dr. Debski is also a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons and Orthopaedic Research Society, and has published over 120 original research papers, 25 book chapters and review articles, and 300 abstracts. His primary research interests include the study of shoulder instability - specifically, the structure and function of the ligaments and joint capsules at the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints as well as the contributions from the surrounding musculature. His research efforts utilize robotic technology and computational analyses to assess joint and ligament mechanics.


His contributions to the field of shoulder biomechanics during this time include the elucidation of the structure and function of the ligaments, tendons and capsule at the glenohumeral and acromioclavicular joints. In addition, the effects of injuries and repair procedures on joint motion have been evaluated to provide surgeons with quantitative data for their diagnostic, repair and rehabilitation protocols. His research has obtained peer-reviewed funding from several sources such NIH, NIOSH, ASES, Coulter Foundation and industry. “