Graduate Seminar Series

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Seminars are open to all MU and MCW BME students, as well as a limited number of non-student guests. To request an invitation to any or all upcoming seminars, contact Dr. Tanya Onushko.  

Upcoming Speakers | Seminar Archive

The MU-MCW Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering Spring ‘22 Graduate Seminar Series welcomes Biomedical Engineers from across the United States whose work exemplifies innovation in this diverse and critical field. With a range of interests spanning computational modeling, imaging, regenerative medicine, and more, seminars promise to present compelling new strategies to approaching some of the world’s most pressing medical opportunities.


Unless otherwise posted, all seminars will be held on Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. Some seminars may invite in-person attendees, and all seminars will be streamed virtually through Zoom. 


Spring '22 Speakers

Mercedes Rodriguez Celin, M.D.  January 28, 2022

Dr. Celin is an experienced pediatrician with a demonstrated history of working with children with motor disabilities, skeletal dysplasias and growth problems in pediatric hospitals. 

Learn more about Dr. Celin



A Multicenter Study to Evaluate Pain Characteristics in Osteogenesis Imperfecta

The goals of this study were to investigate the characteristics of chronic pain in various osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) types, analyze association of pain with different clinical co-variates, and evaluate pain interference in activities. Cross-sectional analysis of data on adults and children enrolled in the Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium. Characteristics of chronic pain, demographic, clinical, and surgical co-variates were collected. Mobility outcomes were analyzed using Gillette Functional Assessment Questionnaire (GFAQ), Functional Mobility Scale (FMS), Brief Assessment Motor Function (BAMF), and 6-minute walk test (6MWT). Pain intensity, pain interference and limitation to participation were analyzed from PODCI and SF-12v2.


Alkis Hadjiosif, Ph.D.  February 4, 2022

Alkis Hadjiosif is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins University. He received his Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in 2008 and his PhD in Bioengineering from Harvard University in 2015 studying the influence of environmental variability in motor adaptation. His research aims to understand mechanisms of motor learning and motor control, in both healthy individuals and ones afflicted by motor disorders, and leverage this understanding to improve the assessment and rehabilitation of neurological impairment in the motor system.

Learn more about Dr. Hadjiosif



Post-stroke Postural Abnormalities in the Arm and Their Relationship to Loss of Motor Control

Abnormal resting postures are one of the most common and widely recognizable motor symptoms after stroke. For example, the typical hemiparetic arm posture consists of flexion at the fingers, wrist, and elbow. This pattern appears to parallel the abnormal muscle synergies during active movement, such as the abnormal coupling of muscles that move the shoulder vs. the elbow joint. Whether these synergies are generated by the same mechanism as abnormal resting postures remains an open question; it might instead be that resting abnormalities are inactive during movement. Also unknown is the degree to which resting postural abnormalities influence active moving and holding.

Here we systematically assessed resting postural abnormalities in stroke patients. We found that patients exhibited abnormal postural forces at rest, which mirrored characteristics of abnormal synergies: for example, postural abnormalities were markedly lower when the arm was supported against gravity, and, critically, strongly related to the Fugl-Meyer scale, a measure based on abnormal synergies. These findings suggest a shared mechanism between resting abnormalities and abnormal synergies after stroke.

We then examined whether these resting postural abnormalities affected the motor control of active reaching in the same workspace. We did not find any systematic effects of resting postural forces either across patients with different resting posture magnitudes, nor between high- vs. low-resting postural force regions for the same patient. However, we found evidence suggesting that resting postural abnormalities might influence active holding control. We conclude that post-stroke deficits in posture and movement may be driven by separate mechanisms. Moreover, our findings identify arm support as a way to alleviate these resting postural abnormalities.


Jordan J. Williams, MD, Ph.D.  March 4, 2022

Dr. Williams is an assistant professor within the Marquette-MCW Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Director and Principal Investigator of the NEIMO Lab, which employs a combination of neurophysiology, optogenetics, viral gene therapy, and optical imaging techniques to develop novel neuroprosthetic and gene therapy approaches to alleviate motor deficits caused by conditions such as spinal cord injury or ALS. 

Learn more about Dr. Williams



Peripheral Optogenetic Stimulation of Motor Activity for Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation

Electrical stimulation of muscle activity has been the mainstay approach to reanimating paralyzed muscle function in conditions such as spinal cord injury for decades.  However, this approach has traditionally been plagued by several drawbacks including an unnatural recruitment order of muscle fibers and early muscle fatigue that have limited its therapeutic ceiling for patients.  Conversely, peripheral optogenetic stimulation of muscle activity is a recently emerging approach that has shown promise in alleviating these drawbacks in addition to other unique advantages.  In this gene therapy technology, nerves are labelled with light-sensitive ion channels via virus injection that allow them to be stimulated with light.  However, modifying the biology of the peripheral nervous system in this manner (as opposed to only electrically interfacing with it) raises its own set of challenges including exposure to the immune system and long paths of retrograde virus travel after muscle injection in order to reach targeted motor neurons in the spinal cord.  In this talk, I will discuss some of my lab’s recent approaches in rodent and non-human primate models to characterize and overcome these hurdles to clinical translation.  In addition, I will describe our efforts to exploit previously underutilized advantages of peripheral optogenetic neuromodulation as well as to extend these viral transduction techniques to spinal cord injury models.


Roger Guillory, Ph.D.  March 25, 2022

Roger Guillory II is an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at Michigan Tech with research interests including cellular and molecular interactions of biomaterials, metallic biocorrosion, biomaterial histopathology, biocompatibility, and degradable metals for cardiovascular implants.

Learn more about Dr. Guillory



The interplay of Biodegradable Metal Performance and Physiological Microenvironments: Informing the Material Design of Advanced Cardiovascular Implants

Non-degradable metal stents are the current gold standard in treating patients with coronary artery disease. However, there is an interest in pursuing metal stents made from biodegradable metals such as magnesium or zinc, in an effort to minimize long term complications in patients. Metallic magnesium and zinc are prominent metal candidates for stenting applications, although both require advanced metallurgical and surface engineering in order to reach the appropriate biomechanical and biodegradation benchmarks. These engineering modifications while necessary, can cause shifts in the clinical performance of the materials. The link between biocompatibility, elemental additions, microstructural evolution, and biodegradation profiles remains elusive for biodegradable metals.  We have identified key metallurgical and biodegradation factors that influence the tissue response of advanced biodegradable metals in-vivo using a large-scale statistical histological approach. However, understanding the tissue response towards any implanted degrading vascular material is confounded by the complicated material and biological variables which contribute towards the final outcome. Presently, it is unclear how material biodegradation rate, implant derived metal cations, cellular injury, or cellular activity contribute to negative biologic reactions to the materials. To fill this knowledge gap, we have been investigating the bioactivity of biodegradable metal materials in-vitro in order to relate cellular events such as cell death, intracellular metal regulation, reactive species generation, with alloy composition and biodegradation characteristics. Our work demonstrates the need for a critical understanding of the biometal-biocorrosion-cellular/tissue response axis, in order to rationally design future degradable metal materials for cardiovascular applications. 


Gui Garcia, Ph.D.  April 1, 2022

Dr. Garcia is an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering within the Marquette University - Medical College of Wisconsin Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering. 

Learn more about Dr. Garcia



Modeling Drug Delivery to the Nasal Passages with Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays are widely used over-the-counter medications to treat sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and nasal obstruction. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is interested in understanding how the intranasal distribution, absorption, and bioavailability of the aerosolized medication is influenced by factors such as interindividual variability in nasal anatomy, spray nozzle position in the nostril, and spray pump characteristics that vary among commercial products (e.g., initial droplet velocity, droplet size distribution, spray cone angle, etc.). In this presentation, I will summarize an ongoing project in the Airway Lab that is funded by the FDA to develop and validate computer models of intranasal distribution of nasal sprays. We will discuss how the computer models are validated with in vitro experiments in anatomically accurate, 3D printed nasal replicas.  To illustrate a practical application of the model, we will discuss how the nozzle position within the nostril affects the dose delivered to relevant target sites.


Janelle Cross, Ph.D.  April 8, 2022

Janelle Cross received her doctorate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University with a Rehabilitation Biomechanics specialization. Her dissertation work focused on developing a biplanar fluoroscopic system for analyzing in vivo and ankle kinematics during gait.

Learn more about Dr. Cross



Adolescent Baseball Pitching Biomechanics: Implications on Injury Risk and Performance

Joint forces and moments are important factors in determining the risk of injury to baseball pitchers. Due to the repetitive nature of pitching, adolescent baseball pitchers are at a high risk for sustaining injuries to the upper extremity (UE) joints. Two critical periods of high risk of injury have been identified in current literature: 1) shortly before the point where the arm reaches maximum external rotation, when shoulder internal rotation torque and elbow valgus torque are generated and 2) shortly after ball release, when shoulder compression force, posterior force and horizontal abduction torque are generated. A series of studies investigating adolescent baseball pitchers was conducted to assess relationships among injury history, hip clinical measures, spin rate and pitching biomechanics. Several associations were found that have indications for injury prevention and performance enhancement.

Josh Roth, Ph.D.  April 22, 2022

Josh Roth is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of California, Davis. The mission of his research group, the Biomechanical Advances in Medicine (BAM) Lab, is to enhance personalized treatments of musculoskeletal injuries and disease. To fulfill this mission, he develops and applies translational technologies to measure joint and tissue biomechanics to enhance planning, execution, and evaluation in the clinical environment.

Learn more about Dr. Roth



Development and Pre-Clinical Testing of Our Handheld Ligament Tensiometer           

Ligaments are important tissues that act like stiff springs connecting our bones at most joints. One key role of ligaments is to act as mechanical restraints to stabilize the joint and guide its motion. Injury, disease, and surgical intervention can disrupt a ligament’s tension-length relationship, which consequently disrupts its ability to stabilize the joint and guide its motion. Although clinicians attempt to account for these disruptions, there are currently no devices available to directly and non-invasively measure these changes in vivo. In this talk, I will describe the underlying theory and development progress of our ligament tensiometer, which is a hand-held sensor to directly and non-invasively measure ligament tension based on the shear wave propagation speed in the structure. I will also show two clinically relevant examples to demonstrate the promise of this sensor to enhance clinical decision making in total knee replacement.

Hyo Jung Jeong, Ph.D. April 29, 2022

Dr. Jeong is a NIDILRR ARRT postdoctoral fellow at Marquette University. She received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Physical Therapy at Yonsei University, South Korea. She has completed her Ph.D. training at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, in the Movement Science program, investigating foot and ankle biomechanics in people with diabetes. Her postdoctoral work investigates biomechanics of upper and lower extremities in children with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. She is particularly interested in understanding the rehabilitation of movement patterns over a lifespan.

Learn more about Dr. Jeong



Biomechanical Phenotyping of Children with Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome  

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) is a rare genetic connective tissue disorder that impacts 1/5000 people worldwide. Hypermobile EDS (hEDS) is the most common EDS subtype and the only subtype with an unknown genetic origin. Current diagnosis of hEDS often relies on clinical findings, which leads to delayed or misdiagnosis in hEDS and ultimately burdens the quality of life across the lifespan in children with hEDS. Therefore, characterizing a biomedical phenotype is necessary to understand the clinical features better and improve rehabilitation strategies for children with hEDS. The main goal of this talk is to share characteristics of movement phenotypes in children with and without hEDS.

Seminar Archive

For your convenience, the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering provides a complete seminar archive, dating back to 2016, when the Joint Department was formed between Marquette University and the Medical College of Wisconsin.  


View Seminar Archive