Tech4POD News: 2011

Tech4POD's John Jameson to perform Osteogenesis Imperfecta research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Photo of the certificate presentation

At the recent RERC on Technologies for Children with Orthopaedic Disabilities (Tech4POD) Board Meeting, Dr. Gerald Harris, presents Mr. John Jameson with a certificate of accomplishment for his upcoming fellowship appointment at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Marquette Biomedical Engineering PhD Candidate, John Jameson, has been awarded a one-year guest fellowship appointment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The Berkeley Lab is a member of the national laboratory system supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and is known for excellence in research and advancing technological innovations across the nation and around the world. Starting this month, John will conduct OI research related to RERC Project R1 at the Berkeley Lab using an ALS (Advanced Light Source) synchrotron.

The Lawrence Berkeley national laboratory attracts scientists from around the world to conduct such state-of-the art research. To date:

  • 13 scientists associated with the Berkeley Lab have won the Nobel Prize.
  • 57 lab scientists are members of the National Academy of Sciences (one of the highest honors for a scientist in the United States).
  • 13 scientists have won the National Medal of Science, our nation's highest award for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research.
  • 18 engineers have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.
  • 3 of the scientists have been elected into the Institute of Medicine.
We are proud to have John represent Marquette University and Tech4POD during his tenure at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Tech4POD at RESNA Summit

Photo of RESNA Summit Participants

November 28-30, 2011 Washington, D.C.

Dr. Gerald Harris recently represented Tech4POD at the Rehabilitation Engineering Summit to discuss the state of the rehabilitation engineering profession, current practice and emerging opportunities. Attendees included representatives from other NIDRR RERCs as well as Program Officers from FDA, NISH, NSF and NIDRR. The primary focus was directed towards research, service delivery and education. Summit findings and recommendations will be released in the form of a report in 2012. For more information, visit the RESNA News Archives.

OREC Team Participates in Joe's Run, Walk and Roll

September 24, 2011, Hart Park, Wauwatosa, WI

Photo of OREC team

Researchers from Tech4POD recently participated in Joe's Run for United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin (UCP) . The 5K run was a fund raising event to benefit the programs UCP offers to children with Cerebral Palsy and other disabilities. The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies for Children with Orthopaedic Disabilities (Tech4POD) was featured in the event. Participants were (L to R): John Jameson (Marquette University, Biomedical Engineering), Tamara Cohen (Marquette University, Biomedical Engineering), Jessica Fritz (Marquette University, OREC) and Jeff Kertis (Marquette University, Biomedical Engineering).

Tech4POD PI featured in Marquette Magazine

Excerpted from the story "Powerful Pairs " by Nicole Sweeney Etter and Stephen Filmanowicz, Marquette Magazine, Spring 2011 issue. Photograph by Kat Berger.

Dr. Gerald Harris and Tamara Cohen discuss Tech4POD

Every grad student should have one; a lucky few might have two or three. A mentor can challenge you, open new doors and keep you on track so you don't slip into that dreaded chasm known as ABD (all but dissertation). And for faculty, the right mentee can offer a fresh perspective and a welcome set of hands.

Pushing and providing a safety net

As a doctoral student working in Marquette's pace-setting Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Engineering Center, Tamara Cohen is receiving expert biomedical engineering instruction and making progress on her dissertation. But she is also undergoing a deeper personal transformation - from promising student mastering existing knowledge to seasoned researcher designing protocols that may lead to scientific discoveries.

Because this maturation process can't be spoon-fed, Professor of Biomedical Engineering Gerald Harris' job as her adviser sometimes resembles that of a coach preparing a gymnast for the Olympics, equipping her with needed technical skills and tools, then supporting her with a safety net as she performs feats that can only be tackled independently.

"You give talented students open-ended challenges," explains Harris, "but you also have to be ready to assist at the right point so they don't become totally frustrated, so they learn from the experience."

Just two years into her doctoral program, Cohen found herself responsible for a serious research project - an assessment of the mechanical behavior of various casting materials used to correct clubfoot deformity in children. It was complicated, interdisciplinary work "looking at questions that nobody had ever asked before about longer term effects, pain and function," says Harris.

This mentoring approach is also practical. Overseeing a federally funded $4.75 million cluster of projects addressing the needs of children with orthopaedic disabilities, plus other projects, Harris splits his time between Marquette, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Shriners Hospital for Children in Chicago. "Dr. Harris is a very knowledgeable, very busy man," Cohen observes. "When he's here, we have to make good use of his time."

Now in her fourth year, Cohen has flourished, producing "recommendations that will help clinicians treat clubfoot more effectively" and embarking on a tissue characterization project that "takes clubfoot treatment to the next level," says her mentor.

Tech4POD at the Boston Marathon

The MU-RERC on Technologies for Children with Orthpaedic Disabilities was represented by MU, Biomedical Engineering Doctoral candidate, John Jameson at the 115th running of the BOSTON MARATHON on Monday, April 18th, 2011. There were 26,907 entrants and John finished 460th. John's time was: 02:47:46; a 6:24 mile pace. Go John!!!

John Jameson holds his medal after completing the 115th Boston Marathon

Tech4POD at the National Gait and Clinical Motion Analysis Society Meeting

The Exhibit was displayed at the national Gait and Clinical Motion Analysis Society (GCMAS) meeting held at the NIH Natcher Center April 26 - 29, 2011. This is the first time a NIDRR RERC has exhibited at the GCMAS.

Tech4POD team members in front of a display at the GCMAS meeting

Left to Right: Dr. Gerald Harris (PI, RERC), Adam Graf, M.S. (Shriners) and Joe Krzak, P.T. (Shriners).

Marquette UniversityTech4POD
attend fund raising event for
United Cerebral Palsy of Southeastern Wisconsin

Researchers from Tech4POD attended United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) of Southeastern Wisconsin's fund raising event, "Taste of Milwaukee" in the Grand Ballroom at the Pfister Hotel.

Tech4POD enjoyed gourmet samplings from Milwaukee's top 20 restaurants at UCP's 29th annual event. All proceeds from the fund raising event benefit the programs UCP offers to children with Cerebral Palsy.

Photograph of researchers at Taste of Milwaukee

Front row: Dr. Carolyne Albert, Deb Epps, Jessica Fritz, Tamara Cohen, John Jameson
Back row: Dr. Jeff Alexander, Dr. Prateek Grover, Ben McHenry, Jeff Kertis, Dr. Gerald Harris