Our Mission

The mission of the HMBL is fall and musculoskeletal injury prevention in healthy and clinical young/elderly adult populations. Our lab team aims at achieving those goals by gaining a thorough understanding of the biomechanical and postural control principles that govern human movement, balance during standing/walking, and performance of occupational tasks. More specifically, for a given environment and task constraints, we attempt to elucidate the multidimensional sensory, motor and biomechanical requirements required to minimize the risk of falls and musculoskeletal injuries. Current research projects range from fall prevention following external disturbances such as slipping to ergonomic-related research. In conjunction with experimental studies, biomechanical computer modeling is used to gain a greater understanding of the impact of environmental and human factors on the risk of falls and injury.

Where We Are

Housed in the Department of Bioengineering and situated in Schenley Place at the University Pittsburgh, HMBL is designed and equipped to analyze the dynamics of human motion ranging from gross movement involved in gait to finger/hand movements during typing. HMBL is part of a larger effort including other laboratory facilities (the Medical Virtual Reality Center, the Jordan Center for Balance Disorders and the Augmented Human Performance Laboratory) located in the Departments of Bioengineering and Otolaryngology. A multidisciplinary group of researchers including biomechanical engineers, physicians (geriatricians, neurologists and psychiatrists), and physical/occupational therapists works in close collaboration across these facilities to achieve our research goals.

HMBL's research funding is provided by various external and internal sources. External sources include National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Veterans Affairs and industry interested in participating in ergonomic efforts. Among HMBL's internal sources of support are the Department of Bioengineering (via the Whitaker Foundation), School of Engineering, Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, Central Research Development Fund, and Office of Research at the University of Pittsburgh.

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