News 

January 31, 2020

New Joint Department Associate Professor Nitin Sharma and his former colleagues at the University of Florida received the 2019 Control Systems Technology award at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control. Many consider this annual event the most prestigious conference in the control systems area. The award is given to recognize outstanding contributions to control systems technology either in design and implementation or project management. Dr. Sharma’s UF collaborators were: Warren Dixon, Matthew J. Bellman, Alan Hamlet, Christian Cousin, Courtney Rouse, Ryan Downey, and Victor Duenas. Their project titled: For closed-loop functional electrical stimulation control methods leading to successful commercialization and personalized rehabilitative treatment options.

January 31, 2020

In January 2020, the Joint Department’s Helen Huang was appointed Jackson Family Distinguished Professor in Biomedical Engineering. The Jackson family is a generous member of NC State’s William Joseph Peele Lifetime Giving Society. Their philanthropic support over 36 years includes numerous university groups, funds, and scholarships; with one of their most recent investments being the establishment of the Jackson Family Distinguished Professorship in Biomedical Engineering. The UNC/NC State Joint Department congratulates Dr. Huang for her well deserved appointment as Distinguished Professor.

January 2, 2020

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) has awarded BME assistant professor Matt Fisher with the 2020 Y.C. Fung Early Career Award “for leadership in musculoskeletal bioengineering and translational mechanobiology to improve human health.” Formal presentation of the award will take place during the 2020 ASME Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Biotransport Conference on June 17-30, 2020 in Vail, Colorado. A not-for-profit membership organization across all engineering disciplines, ASME recognizes the outstanding achievements in mechanical and multidisciplinary engineering through its honors and awards program. The early career award was established in 1986 to recognize young investigators who are committed to pursuing research in the field of Bioengineering and have demonstrated significant potential to make substantial contributions to the field.
 

December 3, 2019

BME Assistant Professor Matt Fisher has been named one of the 2020 Rising Stars by the Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group within BMES, Biomedical Engineering Society. Awardees provide a podium presentation in a special session at the annual conference. 2020 Rising Star Awards will be presented January 2nd - 6th in Puerto Rico. 

The BMES Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering Special Interest Group brings together researchers with diverse scientific and clinical interests with a common goal of understanding and engineering molecules, cells, their interactions and microenvironments in the pursuit of controlling biological processes and improving the practice of medicine.  Because CMBE SIG is committed to supporting new investigators within the field, the “Rising Star” award is given to a select group of exceptional junior principal investigators each year.

November 25, 2019

BME Associate Professor Derek Kamper, who is also Associate Director of Closed-Loop Engineering for Advanced Rehabilitation (CLEAR), has co-

developed a virtual reality clinic to make it easier for stroke survivors to attend their physical and occupational therapy sessions. Dr Kamper explains that physical and occupational therapy are important parts of stroke recovery, but stroke survivors often face challenges in attending their therapy sessions.

Developed by Dr. Kamper with collaborators at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Virtual Environment for Rehabilitative Gaming Exercises (VERGE) is a software package that makes use of Kinect motion-sensor hardware to track the movement of patients and therapists in real time. To evaluate its efficacy, researchers studied 20 stroke survivors who used VERGE for two weeks in single-user mode, and also in multi-user mode – interacting with other people remotely – for an additional two weeks. The results of...

October 31, 2019

On Friday, September 27th BME faculty, staff, and students reconnected at the BME Annual Retreat at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. As part of the event, the annual Departmental awards were announced. Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies Lianne Cartee received this year’s Faculty Award. Administrative Assistant to the Director of Research Catherine Matthieu received the Departmental Service Award, for her exceptional work in grant support, communication and the Graduate program review. The Graduate Student Service Award went to Maurel Vrabel, a doctoral student in Dr. Zaharoff’s Lab. Student poster awards were sponsored by the BME Graduate Student Association. In the Scientific Quality category, first place went to Emily Ozpinar (Freytes Lab). In the Presentation/Communication category, first place went to Rahul Patel (Giovannucci Lab). In the Poster Design category, first place went to Kristina Riviera (Magness Lab).

September 25, 2019

Dr. Huang discusses her ongoing research projects at UNC, NREL, and the promise of using Motor Units to operate powered prostheses.

August 27, 2019

The Closed-Loop Engineering Research (CLEAR) core (https://www.clear-ncsu-unc.com/), consisting of faculty members at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and North Carolina State University (NC State), is seeking two postdoctoral fellows to participate in a new training program, Combined Human and Rehabilitative Machine System (CHARMS).  The fellows will be supported by an Advanced Rehabilitation Research and Training award provided by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.  The goal of the program is to develop the next generation of rehabilitation researchers by focusing on training in three areas: mechanics, controls, and perception.  Each postdoctoral fellow will be mentored by a team of faculty members spanning these areas. 

The postdoctoral fellow will be able to explore opportunities at North Carolina’s two flagship universities: the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) and North C...

August 1, 2019

Team Out of the Gait

Inspired by the mission of the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at UNC Chapel Hill and NC State University to unite engineering and medicine to improve lives, ten students and two pilots (persons with disabilities) are embarking on a journey of learning, compassion, science and action in the 2020 CYBATHLON.

The 2020 CYBATHLON is an international obstacle course race that brings people with disabilities and technology innovators together to drive the development of the newest assistance systems. Six separate courses will challenge the students to devise a prosthetic that will enable the pilot to successfully complete the course within the designated time limit. The Team Out of the Gait is the first university-based team from the United States to register for the 2020 CYBATHLON.

Team Members:

  • Sam Fox, junior in BIomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomechanics.

  • Rhys Gretsch, junior in Computer Engineering with a concentration in Computer Arch...

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