Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory


Gelsy Torres-Oviedo, PhD Associate Professor Department of Bioengineering
Tel. 412-624-2660 (office)
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.


Carly Sombric, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Associate


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 th Sensorimotor 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.


Yashar Aucie, B.S. Graduate Student


Yashar Aucie is a Bioengineering PhD student in the Sensorimotor Laboratory and is supported by GAANN (Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Needs) fellowship. He 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.

Yashar’s current work involves using a pair of motorized shoes to induce split-belt like perturbation. He is interested to see if using this device can help to increase the transfer of movements from one environment to another. 

Dulce Mariscal, B.S. Graduate Student


Dulce moved from Venezuela to Puerto Rico where she received her degree in Mechanical Engineering from Universidad Del Turabo. After she finished her undergraduate degree, she decided to take the opportunity to be exposed to research and moved to Pittsburgh to work as a research intern under the supervision of Dr. Torres-Oviedo. Once she finished her internship, Dulce decided to continue her studies and is now in the lab as a PhD in the Bioengineering program, pursuing the Neural Engineering track.

During her internship Dulce worked on different projects, but her main focus was on understanding the effect of different cognitive conditions in the ways people learn and transfer walking patterns. Now as a PhD student, Dulce is interested in characterizing aspects of split-belt walking that can be generalizable to different environments. Outside of the lab, Dulce enjoys playing soccer, swimming and outdoor activities.

Marcela Gonzalez-Rubio, B.S. Graduate Student


Marcela received her Biomedical Engineering degree from the Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería Julio Garavito and Universidad del Rosario Bogotá, Colombia in 2017. She moved to Pittsburgh on September 2017 to work on Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory as a research intern. Marcela is now in the lab as a PhD student in the Bioengineering program

Marcela is interested in gait analysis, specifically, biomechanical characterization of gait and how say characterization help assess rehabilitation techniques for patients who are suffering from gait impairments. One of these techniques being adaptation of gait by introduction of perturbations while walking on a treadmill. Outside of the lab, Marcela enjoys reading, travelling, and dancing.

Madeline Johnson, Undergraduate Student


Madeline is currently a senior undergrad in Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics. Originally from Montgomery County in the greater Philadelphia area, Madeline completed a year long co-op in Pittsburgh for Carmell Therapeutics and has since worked at Zimmer Biomet in Warsaw, IN. She began working in the Sensorimotor Learning Laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant in September 2019. 

Madeline is interested in neurorehabilitation and gait analysis, specifically dealing with perception and the patient’s ability to perceive asymmetries in their gait. She will be working with Marcela on the perception study throughout this semester. Outside of the lab, Madeline enjoys spending time with her family and friends, lacrosse, and being outside.