BMR Researchers

Matthew A. Davies, Ph.D.

Matthew A. Davies, Ph.D.

704-687-8326
CBES Area of Expertise:

Biomechanical testing and on applying techniques from precision metrology to orthopedic surgery.

CBES Area of Interest:

Since coming to UNC Charlotte in the spring of 2001, Dr. Davies has become interested in manufacturing and measurement issues in Orthopedic implants and devices.  Dr. Davies and his students have now started the Precision Orthopedic Engineering Laboratory which is working on a number of projects including testing the biomechanics of new disc implants for treatment for osteoarthritis in the neck, studying the effects of surgical misalignment on implant performance and clinical outcomes, development of devices to help surgeons precisely position hip implant components in surgery, and studies of soft-tissue loads in total knee replacement surgery.


Ahmed El-Ghannam, Ph.D.

Ahmed El-Ghannam, Ph.D.

704-687-7730
CBES Area of Expertise:

Dr. El-Ghannam specializes in synthesis and characterization of biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue reconstruction.  His lab creates resorbable scaffolds for tissue reconstruction and to enable in vivo drug delivery to signal cells. The research activities of El-Ghannam's lab addresses problems related to treatment of breast and liver cancer and bone infection.  He routinely performs biocompatibility tests, drug release kinetics, assessment of therapeutic effects and cell function and engineering surfaces of biomaterials to stimulate cell function and tissue formation.

CBES Area of Interest:

Hongbing Fang, Ph.D.

Hongbing Fang, Ph.D.

704-687-8328
CBES Area of Expertise:

Crash simulation and design optimization

CBES Area of Interest:

Design and manufacturing of orthopedic materials and quality assurance of orthopedic materials.


Alexander A.Fokin, M.D.,Ph.D.

Alexander A. Fokin, M.D., Ph.D.

704-355-3454
CBES Area of Expertise:

The surgical morphological and genetics aspects of congenital  and acquired chest wall deformities such as pectus excavatum, carinatum, Poland’s Syndrom, etc.

CBES Area of Interest:

Another subject of his research is the complications of midline sternotomy and prevention methods, which includes determining optimal closure techniques for different sterna conditions, (such as osteoporotic or narrow sternum) to reduce the possibility of dehiscence.   New options for prevention and treatment of aortic dilatation, focusing on minimizing surgical trauma by implementing mesh wrapping and minimally invasive approach, is also a subject of Dr. Fokin’s research.  Dr. Fokin is also involved in a research project that addresses revascularizing the ischemic myocardium in “no options” patients with coronary artery disease by enhancing collateral vessel development.   Dr. Fokin has also studied the spread of infection via lymphatico-venous communications and the possibility of local interventions after injury with contaminated instruments.


Mark Hirsch, Ph.D.

Mark Hirsch, Ph.D.

704-355-7673
CBES Area of Expertise:

Parkinson’s disease, aging, translational research.

CBES Area of Interest:

Dr. Hirsch’s research is conducted within the Carolinas Rehabilitation Research Laboratories at Carolinas Medical Center.  Dr. Hirsch is a Neuroscientist with a multidisciplinary background in Education, Gerontology and Rehabilitation.  Dr. Hirsch’s research has focused on stroke, ALS, traumatic brain injury, aging and Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the effect of high-intensity exercise in improving the cardinal signs and symptoms of PD (i.e., balance).  His well-known work on PD has led him to conclude that a damaged brain is more likely to learn from experience than a brain that is intact, given optimal teaching and teachers.  This has led to the continuous, high-intensity training changes the structure and function of the PD brain which, in turn, may slow or reverse the progression of the disease and lead to a more favorable outcome.

 


Tricia Hubbard Turner, Ph.D.

704-687-6202
CBES Area of Expertise:

My research focuses on the long term changes that occur after a lower extremity injury.  Specifically, the mechanical changes that occur after an ankle injury, and the long term consequences those changes in mechanics may have on development of osteoarthritis, and its overall effect on physical activity levels.  In addition to assessment of mechanical changes, osteoarthritis, and physical activity, I examine ways to treat and prevent joint instability and the negative consequences associated with joint instability.

CBES Area of Interest:

Mechanical joint instability assessment, Ligament healing, osteoarthritis, diagnostic ultrasound


Edward P. Morse, Ph.D.

Edward P. Morse, Ph.D.

704-687-8342
CBES Area of Expertise:

 Computational metrology, assembly modeling and analysis, geometric tolerancing and standards, computer aided manufacturing.

CBES Area of Interest:

Dimensional quality of orthopedic implants, in-process measurement techniques to assist in surgery, and processing of dense digital data from optical and CT scans.


Brigid A. Mullany, Ph.D.

Brigid A. Mullany, Ph.D.

704-687-8343
CBES Area of Expertise:

Polishing of non planar surfaces.  Including freeform geometries.  Potential application finishing of medical devices (e.g. hip implants).

CBES Area of Interest:

Precision surface generation.  This encompasses topics ranging from understanding the fundamentals of material removal and subsurface damage generation to developing more time efficient process.


Richard D. Peindl, Ph.D.

Richard D. Peindl, Ph.D.

704-355-7084
CBES Area of Expertise:

Thirty-five years of mechanical engineering experience working in both industrial and academic settings in the areas of manufacturing, product development, test engineering and both applied and basic science research.

CBES Area of Interest:

The Orthopaedic Engineering Research Lab at Carolinas Medical Center conducts applied research projects that involve the evaluation of fracture fixation devices, joint replacement devices,   and soft tissue attachment devices along with associated fracture fixation and joint modification and reconstruction techniques.  These studies necessitate the use of a wide array of experimental instrumentation and techniques aimed at measuring stresses, strains, loads and deformations in implants and physiologic materials.  Over the last 10 years, Dr. Peindl’s lab has also been involved in basic science research involving the response of osteoblasts to simulated implant surfaces with varying surface topographies and the development of a new type of osmotic gradient bioreactor system for the growth of articular cartilage.  Emerging areas of interest include research in computer/robotic-assisted surgery and utilization of joint motion analysis and dynamic posturography for quantitative evaluation of orthopaedic-related disability and surgical outcomes assessment.


Abbey Thomas, Ph.D., ATC

Abbey Thomas, Ph.D., ATC

704-687-8628
CBES Area of Expertise:

My expertise is in the field of osteoarthritis, particularly post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the knee.  I examine the changes in neuromuscular activation and biomechanics that arise following knee injury and how those contribute to joint degeneration.  I utilize a variety of exogenous stimuli, both electrical and magnetic, to stimulate the muscle and brain to elucidate the causes of mother impairments following knee injury.  I also examine changes in biomechanics and functional performance using 3D motion analysis and electromyography.

Knee injury, osteoarthritis, ACL, biomechanics, TMS

CBES Area of Interest:

My research focuses on the neuromuscular and biomechanical consequences of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury and how those factors contribute to the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis of the knee.  Specifically, I focus on quadriceps dysfunction, examining the intracortical and corticospinal contributions to this impairment and, subsequently, its impact on biomechanics during daily and athletic activities.  I aim to understand the causes of acute and chronic impairments inpatients following ACL injury to establish more effective rehabilitation strategies to combat disability and improve long-term health and quality of life.


Erik A. Wikstrom, Ph.D.

Erik A. Wikstrom, Ph.D.

704-687-3764
CBES Area of Expertise:

Coordination of balance, Neuromechanical adaptations after lower extremity injury, restoration of neuromuscular impairments after injur

CBES Area of Interest:

My research focuses on interactions between musculoskeletal biomechanics and sensorimotor control following injury with particular emphasis on the coordination of balance.  In addition, my research has applied biomechanical and neurophysiologic principles to better understand the pathophysiology of ankle injuries, elucidate the mechanisms that lead to chronic ankle instability, and treat ankle osteoarthritis.  A combination of techniques allows me to conduct hypothesis driven research that evaluates experimental results quantitatively rather than descriptively.  As a result, my focuses and investigations cross multiple disciplines, including biomechanics, motor control, and rehabilitation sciences, but have the common goal of identifying impairments to neuromuscular control after lower extremity injury and developing effective evidence based interventions to restore the neuromuscular impairments.


Dr. Andrew Willis

Andrew Willis, Ph.D.

704-687-8420
CBES Area of Expertise:

Medical image processing; 3D imaging; segmentation of structures within medical images.

CBES Area of Interest:

Dr. Willis' Charlotte Machine Vision Laboratory conducts research that seeks to create new ways to treat traumatic bone fractures, especially those that occur in the vicinity of bone joints where osteoarthritis can develop.  Supported by National Institute of Health, lab researchers create software and algorithms that facilitate the semi-authomatic reconstruction of these bone fractures within a virtual 3D environment.  Such software may be used by doctors to  perform pre-operative surgical planning.  Additionally, the software enables heretofore unavailable methods of quantifying the severity of a given fracture case which is an important aspect for proper treatment which can be difficult to measure.


Dr. Nigel Zheng

Naiquan "Nigel" Zheng, Ph.D.

704-687-7301
CBES Area of Expertise:

Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Biomotion Analysis, Biomechanical testing of implants in the area of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine.

CBES Area of Interest:

Biomechanics and Motion Analysis.  In our lab, we use our state-of-art equipment and custom-coded software to study human movement during sports and daily activities.  Current research topics include understanding injury mechanisms of throwing arm, 3-D motion analysis of human knee joint, knee modeling for rehabilitation exercises, fall prevention with technology, evaluation of surgical techniques, and mechanical evaluations of bone and tendon treated with stem cells and gene therapy.