Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor in the School of Kinesiology is the principal investigator on an NIH funded grant program administered through the University’s Office of Discovery and Translation that seeks to promote new therapies for rare diseases. The project will design and build a device that will improve the symptoms of a voice disorder called spasmodic dysphonia (SD).
People with SD experience involuntary spasms of the laryngeal musculature that leads to a strained or choked speech. There is no cure for the disease and speech therapy is ineffective. The device will alter how it feels when one speaks. The idea behind the technology is that this sensory trick will help patients to improve their voice quality. The device development and its testing will be conducted in Konczak’s Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory.
Arash Mahnan, biomedical engineer and doctoral student in the HSC lab will serve as primary research assistant for this project.
Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology and co-director of the Tucker Center, will participate in a speaking panel at a CEHD Alumni and Graduate Networking Event on Thursday, November 9, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at McNamara Alumni Center, University Hall. The event, titled “Blaze Your Trail: Crafting a Career with Passion and Innovation,” features CEHD alumni who have forged unique career paths outside their degree programs. The panel will share their stories and ideas on channeling creativity into professional success.
The event is geared to CEHD graduate and professional students, and an RSVP required. See more details here.
Yu-Ting Tseng, Ph.D., 2017 graduate of the School of Kinesiology in the Biomechanics and Neuromotor Control emphasis, has been awarded a post-doc position in the Division of Child Health Research, Institute of Population Health Sciences in the National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) in Zhunan, Taiwan, starting in November. She will be conducting a study on the effect of different types of exercise intervention on the motor, cognitive and overall physical and mental functions in children and older adults. She may also assist in evaluating the status and needs for special needs populations.
In this tenth and celebratory volume in the Research in the Sociology of Sport series, ten recognized sport scholars from around the world (Toni Bruce, Cora Burnett, Jay Coakley, Agnes Elling, Steve Jackson, Mary Jo Kane, Joe Maguire, Roy McCree, Fabien Ohl, Gertrud Pfister) reflect on their respective academic journeys. They each address ten questions summarizing their career and their view of the current and future status of the sociology of sport.
Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology, presented October 30 at the Academic Health Center’s Mini Medical School as part of their Fall 2017 series, “Medical Mysteries: Navigating Complex Health Cases.” His presentation with George S. Goding, Jr., M.D., professor in the Department of Otolaryngology, was titled “Finding a new treatment for the incurable voice disorder Spasmodic Dysphonia.” Konczak and Goding have been working with colleagues from Speech and Hearing Sciences and Engineering on a new treatment approach to improve the voice symptoms of patients with this voice disorder. Currently, there is no cure for the disease, though patients can get temporary relief through Botulinum toxin injections.
Comments from attendees after the presentation included:
This work gives me so much hope – what an interesting study! Very interesting topic, more education on these topics is necessary so I am glad I was able to hear this presentation. Appreciated the presentation from both Dr’s because of the overlap! Nicely simplified from complex information. Nice to hear U of M people are working together to make life better for those in need. Loved the comment about calling around the U to find experts to help solve problems. There is so much happening at the U of M!!
Mini Medical School is a five-week program offered each semester that is designed to give individuals with a shared interest in health sciences the opportunity to examine the scientific foundations of health and disease presented by internationally renowned U of M experts who are shaping the way health care is delivered locally and globally.
Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center in the School of Kinesiology, will be guest speaking at Wellesley College on October 25 for the college’s LeadBLUE Athletic Leadership Academy. The title of her presentation is Building a Positive Team Culture.
Designed to facilitate leadership development tools and educational opportunities for all student-athletes, the LeadBLUE Athletic Leadership Academy aims to enhance the quality of team culture, student leadership, and the athletic experience at Wellesley.
LaVoi served as the head tennis coach at Wellesley from 1994-1998. See the complete announcement here.
Li Li Ji, Ph.D., professor and director of the LPHES in the School of Kinesiology, has finished a one-month visit to the University of Valencia, Spain, as part of his planned sabbatical activity. During his stay, he met with the University’s Faculty of Medicine led by Dr. Josè Viña, and with Dr. Carmen Gomez, a visiting scholar in LPHES last summer, to discuss continuing collaborations on research in the field of muscle biology and aging.
Ji gave two presentations to UV faculty, titled “Mechanism and prevention of muscle disuse atrophy via DNA transfection” and “Oat phytochemicals: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.” The University of Valencia Medical College is a highly respected institution in Europe, and its former dean, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1906. Ji’s visiting professorship was sponsored by a grant from the European Union.
Nicole LaVoi, Ph.D., senior lecturer and co-director of the Tucker Center in the School of Kinesiology, gave a presentation at the third annual Japanese Women Coaches Academy meeting held in Karuizawa, Japan, during the first week in September. LaVoi attended the meeting along with representatives from the U.K., Australia, and the top women in sport in Japan. She spoke on barriers and supports for female coaches based on her book, Women in Sports Coaching.
Katie Koopmeiners, undergraduate academic adviser for the School of Kinesiology, will be presenting at the Academic Advising Network’s first session in their professional development series, “Branding You.” The title of her presentation is “Creating an Advising Philosophy.”
Koopmeiners, who advises in the areas of Recreation Administration, Sport Management, and Coaching, will discuss the importance of an advising philosophy in a working session that will help new and seasoned advisers formalize their guiding principles in their advising practice. Participants will consider their advising style, strengths and theoretical basis to develop their own personal advising philosophy.
The session will be held Tuesday, October 24, from 10:30-noon in Nolte 140.
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.