Full Time Faculty

Dr. Christopher J. Arellano

Christopher J. Arellano, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

I have a broad interest in understanding the biomechanics, energetics, and balance of human and animal locomotion. Current projects focus on four main areas: 1. Locomotor Training: develop training interventions aimed at improving muscle-tendon function, economy, and balance. 2. Stability and Muscle-Tendon Mechanics: investigate how the intrinsic properties of muscle and tendon contribute to stability in response to perturbations. 3. Assistive Devices: engineer and test devices that reduce metabolic cost, with implications for rehabilitative gait training strategies in older adults and in individuals with balance disorders. 4. Human Performance: advance our understanding of locomotion biomechanics and apply these insights to improve performance in the context of athletics, space-flight, elderly, etc.

 

Dr. Stacey L Gorniak

Stacey L Gorniak, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

My research interests are directed towards understanding healthy and pathological neuromuscular control. Specifically, I am interested in sensorimotor function and how neurological pathology changes how we use our hands. I am interested in investigating how neural changes due to aging, chronic health conditions and movement disorders affect functional hand use, particularly in actions of daily living.

 

Dr. Charles Layne

layne

Charles Layne, Ph.D.
Professor and chair, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

Interested in the development of human coordination primarily from a neuromuscular perspective. This interest is satisfied by investigating posture and locomotion processes. More recent interests include understanding the role of somatosensory input in producing coordinated movement, including investigating how the brain processes such information using fMRI.

 

Dr. Beom-Chan Lee

Lee

Beom-Chan Lee, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

My research interests are 1) designing and developing a real-time biofeedback technology to prevent and reduce falls by leveraging fall recovery performance in individuals with a high risk of falling, 2) designing and developing a cell phone based platform for home-based balance rehabilitation and fall prevention applications, 3) designing and developing a wearable sensory augmentation system via vibrotactile biofeedback for conveying motion instructions based on motion error between an expert and a trainee (patient) for potential clinical and home-based balance rehabilitation training applications, and 4) characterizing non-volitional human motor behavior (postural responses) to torso-based vibrotactile stimulation.

 

Dr. Pranav Parikh

Parikh

Pranav Parikh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

My research is primarily focused on understanding the sensorimotor mechanisms for motor control and learning in healthy young individuals, older adults, and patients with neurological diseases and injury. I am also interested in developing therapeutic strategies to improve sensorimotor function in older adults and patient populations. My current research uses the human hand as a model to accomplish these goals. We use a wide range of approaches including motion tracking, kinetic measurements, surface electromyography (muscle activity), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).

 

Dr. Adam Thrasher

Thrasher Adam Thrasher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Associate Department Chair, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

Research focuses on the development of new knowledge and techniques to improve function after spinal cord injury and stroke. My current projects are concerned with improving the walking function, cardiovascular function and reducing the risk of pressure sores.

 

 

Adjunct Faculty

Thomas Krouskop, Ph.D., P.E.

KrouskopThomas Krouskop, Ph.D., P.E.
Director, National Center for Human Performance

 

 

 

 

 

Katharine E Forth, Ph.D.

Katharine E Forth, Ph.D.
Director, National Center for Human Performance

 

 

 

 

 

Affiliated Faculty

Mark Clarke, Ph.D.

Clarke Mark Clarke, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

Muscle physiology, muscle adaptation to mechanical loading, cellular basis of muscle function in health and disease.

 

 

Daniel O'Connor, Ph.D.

O'Connor Daniel O'Connor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

My research involves application of biostatistical models to investigate the effectiveness of clinical interventions and to evaluate subject-level changes in health measures and health-related quality of life. I have participated in studies supported by funding from the Joe W. King Orthopedic Institute, NASA, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

 

Richard Simpson, Ph.D.

SimpsonRichard Simpson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston

Dr Simpson's main research interests are concerned with the effects that exercise, age and disease has on immune function.

 

 

 

Fellows

Doctoral Students

Raul Amador

Raul Amador

BS in Prosthetics and Orthotics from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas

Research interests: I am interested in the biomechanics of pathological gait in populations of orthotic and prosthetic users. Currently, my candidacy project is focusing on modeling the biomechanical effects of diabetic neuropathy using a healthy model.

 

Marius Dettmer

Marius Dettmer

BS Sport Science from Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum, Germany

MS Sport Science from Ruhr-Universitaet-Bochum, Germany

Research interests: Countermeasures to spaceflight-related neuromotor adaptation, Fall prevention in the elderly and in neuropathic patients via sensory augmentation

Current Projects: Non-linear analysis (approximate entropy) of center-of-pressure (COP) data in a postural adaptation task, Stochastic resonance/facilitation: noise induction at mechanoreceptor level for improvement of signal detection sensitivity and information transmission characteristics

 

Amber Forrest

Amber Forrest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rahul Goel

Rahul Goel

Bachelor of Technology in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India

Masters of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

Research Interests: My primary research interests include space life sciences, motor control and neurophysiology.

Some current projects include: (a) Studying the role of load receptors of limbs in modulating functional motor control performance and then assessing time courses of performance decrement during prolonged spaceflight.
(b) Analyzing stand test data of astronauts using Hidden Markov Model (HMM) to better understand changes in sensory-motor aspects of balance control and locomotion due to spaceflight

Stefan Madansingh

Stefan Madansingh

Bachelor of Engineering, Aerospace (spec. Electronics and Control Systems) from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

Research interests: My interests include biomechanics, neurophysiology and motor control. My previous research has included human factors, systems modeling, non-linear analysis, engineering analysis and design with an emphasis on applications in physiology and artificial gravity. I am interested in system adaptations to pathological and extreme conditions, primarily spaceflight. Specific areas of interest include musculoskeletal, neurovestibular and neurophysiological/cognitive performance changes in these environments.

I am presently pursing a study employing non-linear analysis (Lyapunov Exponents) to classify upper-extremity motor control during the movement of fragile objects.

Hao Meng

Hao Meng

B.S. from Beijing Sport University, China

Research interests: I am interested in biomehcanics and gait stability of elder and obese people, I am also interested in assessing fall risk and prevention strategy.

My current project studies the local dynamic stabiltiy of obese people during overground walking.

 

Recep Ali Özdemir

Recep Ali Özdemir

B.S. in Physical Education & Sports from Abant Izzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey

Research interests: My primary focus of research is to understand sensory-motor aspects of balance control and locomotion in special populations including older adults, people with visual impairments and Parkinsonís patients.

Our current projects are concerned with improving balance control in older adults and blind people. Having an exercise and sport psychology background, I am also interested in understanding interplay between various psychological variables (focus of attention, task anxiety, self efficacy) and biomechanical characteristics of balance performance during dual task paradigms. I will be working with Dr.Vidalís research group on designing experimental set ups in the Center of Neuromotor and Biomechanics Research at Texas Medical Center. As a part of this collaboration we will be focusing on neural decoding of gait parameters and muscle activation patterns by using EEG and EMG signals.

David Temple

David Temple

B.S. from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

M.S. from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Research interests: My research involves looking at the effects that vibration has on postural control.

 

 

Craig Workman

Craig Workman

B.S. from Utah State University

M.S. from Utah State University

Research interests: My primary interests are in movement biomechanics and rehabilitation for people with neurological disorders (i.e. Parkinson's disease and stroke).

Some current projects include: 1) Research on treadmill training to rehabilitated parkinsonian gait and 2) validating reachable workspace protocols for people who have suffered a stroke.