Sciences: Kinesiology

Department: Kinesiology

Supervising Faculty Member: Susan Saliba

Specialization: Orthopedic injury/Rehabilitation/Athletic Training/Physical Therapy

Research Focus: I am to determine effectiveness of therapeutic Interventions and rehabilitation techniques following orthopedic injury. Clinicians often use a variety of methods to reduce pain and improve neuromuscular function, and there is limited evidence of the physiological effects or improvement when using those agents. Typically, PTs and ATs use ice, electrical stimulation, ultrasound and a variety of manual therapies and exercise techniques to improve outcomes. I study how those agents are applied on a clinical population. Most of the work is in lower extremity and spine pathologies and I use biomechanics and other measures of muscle function including real time ultrasound imaging, surface EMG, and strength performance.

Position Description:

  1. Learn methods of measuring neuromuscular function
  2. Learn and apply methods of responsible research on human participants
  3. Learn data processing skills - measuring previously acquired ultrasound image data and EMG raw data so that it is in the appropriate format for analysis
  4. Collaborate with the Lab requirements (Exercise and Sport Injury Lab) and other investigators professionally
  5. Conduct yourself as a representative of the Lab
  6. Contribute and write summaries of research articles that contribute to your understanding of the current research and your research question.
  7. Meet with Faculty advisor (at least over 2 weeks) and with the Graduate Student Lab Director (weekly).

Required skills:

  1. Ability to work independently
  2. Ability to work collaboratively and to contribute to the work environment
  3. Ability to seek assistance when needed
  4. Work schedule that can be accommodated with the data collection in our lab
  5. Background in Physiology, Muscle Function, knowledge of anatomy, understanding of biomechanics. These skills will be taught, but it would be best to have some grasp of basics.

Computer software: Knowledge of Matlab would help, but is not expected. Excel, data entry, and any knowledge of statistical packages (SPSS, SAS) would be helpful.

Training/certification: CITI Training (online Research requirement). This can be done anytime, but is required prior to any interaction with human subjects.

What you will learn:

  1. Understanding of physical measures of function (strength, muscle activity, kinetics, kinematics)
  2. Understanding of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (will be taught); and how this pertains to bloodflow to the muscle
  3. Understanding of the research process and why it is important for evidence based medicine

Web site link to research: http://curry.virginia.edu/research/labs/exercise-and-sport-injury-laboratory