PACE stands for Perception and Action in Complex Environments. The network is funded by the European Union and seeks to train predoctoral students with a background in engineering, mathematics, neuroscience, and psychology.
Arash Mahnan, Kinesiology Ph.D. student and IT Fellow, is one of three people featured in the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance online newsletter, Global U, promoting Driven: The University of Minnesota Campaign, the first system-wide fundraising campaign at the U of M in more than a decade. The Alliance has set a goal of raising $7 million to “Drive a Global U.”
Mahnan discusses his goal to fill the gap between engineering and clinical research, and the imperative to attract top students and faculty from around the world to come to the University of Minnesota. He is a student in the area of biomechanics and neural control and is advised by Juergen Konczak, Ph.D.
This program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and to accelerate basic-research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. The aim of this grant is to move forward the lab’s robotic rehabilitation technology that is jointly developed with partners in Italy and Singapore. As part of this grant, a team consisting of postdoctoral researcher Naveen Elangovan (entrepreneurial lead), Jürgen Konczak and Pat Tarnowski as a business adviser is formed. Pat is a trained PT with an MBA and is currently the Senior Director of Clinical Health Solutions at BCBS of Minnesota. The team will work closely with NSF staff and advisers to explore and understand the U.S. market.
Arash Mahnan, Kinesiology Ph.D. student in Movement Science, has been appointed to the University’s Senate Information Technologies Committee (SITC). The committee represents the institution’s faculty, academic professional, civil service and student interests in the development, implementation, and distribution of information technologies at the U. The committee reports to the Senate and makes recommendations concerning policies and administration around information technologies.
The committee meets monthly and consists of eight faculty, four P&A, three students, and one civil service representative. The students include Mahnan, a representative from the Department of Engineering and one from the College of Continuing Education. The student representatives were chosen based on their background, experience and qualifications in the field of information technology. Mahnan will serve a two-year term on the committee.
School of Kinesiology professor Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., was interviewed on Take Care, a radio program on health and wellness that originates at station WRVO in Oswego, NY. Co-hosts Lorraine Rapp and Linda Lowen interviewed Stoffregen about his research related to motion sickness.
The interview was broadcast on Saturday, July 15, and again on Sunday, July 16. The full interview is on the Take Care website and on iTunes, and the preview clip is here.
His Hungarian hosts comprised researchers with backgrounds in mathematics, physics, and cognitive neuroscience with an interest in modeling human movement and translating this knowledge to help patients with spinal cord injuries to regain function. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia) is the most important and prestigious academic society of Hungary. Its main responsibilities are the cultivation of science, dissemination of scientific findings, supporting research and development and representing Hungarian science domestically and around the world.
Dr. Wade and Dr. Konczak first gave two keynote addresses at the China Preschool Children Health Conference held in Suzhou, a fast-growing modern city outside Shanghai. They then visited Shanxi University in Taiyuan, the capital city in Shanxi province in northwestern China with 4.2 million people. Next they traveled by high-speed rail to Tianjin, where they presented at Tianjin Sport University, a long-time partner of the School of Kinesiology. Their final lecture was at Hebei Universityin Shijiazhuan, where the first modern higher education institution in China was founded in 1895.
Kinesiology professors Juergen Konczak, Ph.D., and Michael Wade, Ph.D., addressed over 700 attendees of the Suzhou International Conference on Child Health Development. The conference centered around themes of how early childhood education best promotes cognitive, social, sensory and motor development. Suzhou is a city of about 10.5 million people in southeastern China. Kinesiology professor Li Li Ji, Ph.D., also attended the conference.
“Why would anyone pay $600 for something that makes you toss your cookies?” Stoffregen asks in the article. He argues that companies who sell VR games are not dealing with changing the designs of the games, but are simply changing their liability rules should consumers become ill.
The article discusses Stoffregen’s research extensively, as well as studies being conducted by the Mayo Clinic, which may provide answers to the problems with nausea and sickness related to VR and VR applications across a broad spectrum.
Thomas J. Smith, Ph.D., adjunct lecturer for the School of Kinesiology, is first author on a paper presented at the recently concluded 12th International Conference on Occupational Stress and Health, “Work, Stress and Health 2017: Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities,” that convened in Minneapolis June 7-10. The paper is titled, ‘The Productivity Paradox – A Distracted Working Hypothesis.’ The paper also will be published in the conference proceedings.
A faculty member and doctoral student in the School of Kinesiology have been selected to receive awards from the College of Education and Human Development’s Women’s Philanthropic Leadership Circle (WPLC).
Dahia Barr-Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor in the School, has received the Rising Star Faculty Award of $1,500 to use for professional development. She joins an elite group of CEHD female faculty members in the college who have received this prestigious award.
Sanaz Khosravani, a Kinesiology doctoral student in the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, will receive a $1,400 Graduate Student Ph.D. award based on the review committee’s assessment of her “academic achievements, community involvement, leadership, and passion for her academic and professional career.”
The awards will be conferred at the WPLC’s annual celebration on Tuesday, June 13, at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul.
Konczak provided an overview of his lab’s research on somatosensory deficits in Parkinson’s disease and dystonia and outlined how these sensory impairments may cause the motor deficits seen in the neurological diseases. He also presented recent work led by Dr. Naveen Elangovan, postdoctoral researcher in the lab, that showed that Parkinsonian symptoms can be improved through a specialized sensory training.
Nicolette Peterson and Anna Solfest, both undergraduate students in the School of Kinesiology, participated in today’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium sponsored by the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) at the U of M.
Christopher Curry, School of Kinesiology Ph.D. student and member of APAL, has accepted a summer position as a graduate research intern in the Physical Ergonomics/Human Factors research department at the Mayo Clinic. At Mayo, Chris will be part of a team working to improve medical device ergonomics, teamwork, health care ergonomics and lean health care systems. Chris’s Ph.D. adviser is Thomas Stoffregen, Ph.D.
An online publication for the cruising set, To See the Sea, features an interview with Tom Stoffregen, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology and researcher on motion sickness. Stoffregen discusses his fascination as a boy in the 1960s with astronauts and space travel, including the phenomenon of motion sickness (which afflicts many astronauts in space), and how it led him to the research he is doing today.