Welcome to the Biomechanics and Movement Sciences Interdisciplinary Program
The mission of the Interdisciplinary Program in Biomechanics & Movement Science (BIOMS) is to advance the understanding of complex human systems through interaction of experts who cross traditional divisions of academic study. We strive to train outstanding researchers who will contribute to the advancement of health science through translational and interdisciplinary research. Research findings are disseminated through peer reviewed publications in high impact journals and presentations at national and international conferences. The BIOMS program comprises faculty from the Colleges of Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and Health Sciences who use an interdisciplinary approach to research and graduate education.
What’s New in BIOMS
The Delaware Rehabilitation Institute, directed by Tom Buchanan, finds innovative and improved ways to help people recover from injury and disease by bringing together biologists, clinical scientists, engineers, and policy experts to critically address the issues faced by those with disabilities.
Dr. J. Megan Sions, PhD, DPT, PT, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, is also the Director of the University of Delaware’s Interdisciplinary Amputee Clinic, established in 2013, which is a collaborative initiative among the University of Delaware, Independence Prosthetics-Orthotics, Inc., and the Christiana Health Care System that seeks to answer clinically-relevant research questions. The clinic has provided team-based, prosthetic evaluations for nearly 300 adults from Delaware and surrounding states, while training over 50 researchers and practitioners, i.e. physical therapists, prosthetists, nurses, and bioengineers, in evidence-based post-amputation care.
As principal investigator of the Delaware Limb Loss Studies, Dr. Sions research focuses on the evaluation and rehabilitation of individuals with limb loss and limb difference to improve health-related outcomes. She is in her second year of a NIH-funded study that will determine whether trunk muscle impairments and asymmetries are associated with the presence of lower-limb loss. Results of this NIH study will inform the development of future, longitudinal work evaluating whether trunk muscle impairments predict balance, function, and community participation, and thus, should be considered as potential modifiable factors in future interventional studies designed to optimize function following lower-limb loss.
Dr. Sions has been awarded funding through the ACCEL CTR program and is conducting research on Somatosensory Dysfunction, Prosthetic Use, and Function in Adults with Limb Loss.
Dr. Elisa Arch has been awarded a $500,000, 3-year grant from the Department of Defense’ Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program. This project entitled “Objective Clinical Prescription of Passive-Dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthoses to Optimize Patient Outcomes” aims to compare effectiveness of traditionally-prescribed, standard of care ankle-foot orthoses to quantitatively-prescribed passive-dynamic ankle-foot orthoses for individuals post-stroke. This project is a collaboration among investigators at the University of Delaware (Kinesiology & Applied Physiology, Physical Therapy, Center for Composite Materials), Independence Prosthetics-Orthotics, Inc., the University of Iowa, and San Diego Naval Medical Center.
BIOMS Featured Research
A study at the University of Delaware is focused on teaching proper heading technique – along with neck and torso strengthening – to youth soccer players with the goal of decreasing risk of concussions. Tom Kaminski, director of Athletic Training education at UD, and Ph.D. student Victoria Wahlquist check on players throughout the season at practices and games to see how much they’re heading the ball and how heading is being coached.
The Brain Injury Association of Delaware offers grants through BrainStrong, a program to support the prevention of youth concussions. $2,500 in grant funds have enabled UD researchers to do significant pilot projects that are producing useful data for larger study.