Research

Research Overview

As a second year PhD student in Dr. Gregory Sawicki’s laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I am currently interested in exploring the biomechanics associated with use of lower limb prosthetic and assistive devices.


Post-baccalaureate

At Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, I worked as a research engineer on studies to understand biomechanical differences between individuals with and without lower limb loss. Specific projects include:

  • Evaluating the influence of prosthetic foot stiffness on weighted walking in persons with transtibial (below-knee) amputation
  • Understanding differences in trunk and pelvis motion during 90 degree turns across levels of lower limb loss
  • Assessing the efficacy of a visual feedback task for reducing impulse (force on ground over time) on one side of the body
  • Development of a real-time game for training of trunk-pelvis control using an instrumented wobble chair

 

The summer after graduating from Brown, I was also an Early Drug Discovery intern at Abbvie. There I screened anti-inflammatory drugs and evaluated antibody trafficking.


Undergraduate

During my time at Brown University, I worked in a number of labs on projects spanning the spectrum of biomedical research.

 

At the Providence VA Medical Center, I completed my honors thesis and capstone project under the direction of Dr. Susan D’Andrea on the topic of augmented and virtual reality for gait retraining. In particular:

  • I compared performance changes of able-bodied individuals as a result of obstacle course training in augmented reality and virtual reality environments
  • I evaluated whether scaling of virtual reality obstacle course parameters to user dimensions influenced in-game outcomes

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Through the National Institutes of Health Biomedical Engineering Summer Internship Program (BESIP), I worked as a summer intern at Walter Reed. While there my responsibilities included:

  • Implementation of a laser guided walking system to generate repeatable “freeform” walking paths
  • Assessing differences in the biomechanical strategies used by individuals with and without transtibial amputation during 90 degree turns, 180 degree turns, stopping and starting tasks during walking

 

As a summer research assistant at the Brown University Advanced Baby Imaging Lab I:

  • Assessed differences in brain myelination from MR images in children exposed to smoking and drinking in utero
  • Assisted in collecting whole night EEG data to assess changes in brain activity as a result of sleep deprivation in children

 

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As a summer researcher in the Brown-HHMI Summer Scholar Program I:

  • Designed a DNA construct to use fruit flies as a model for Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease
  • Developed and executed a crossing scheme for generating a line of fruit flies with two mutations associated with ALS

 

As a student in the year long HHMI Phage Hunters Course I:

  • Isolated, enriched, and extracted the DNA of a bacteriophage (bacterial virus) new to science, and annotated the viral genome of a novel bacteriophage.
  • Used regulatory elements in bacteriophage genomes as an evolutionary classification scheme