Read the latest news from the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about NUPOC and our recent achievements.

  • NUPOC Welcomes Martin Buckner, CPO

    Martin Buckner, CPOMartin W. Buckner, CPO, has joined NUPOC as Lecturer in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Mr. Buckner is well-experienced and brings clinical, instructional, and managerial skills to the NUPOC MPO program. Mr. Buckner is an ABC-Certified and Illinois Licensed Prosthetist-Orthotist who will teach MPO students and guide their clinical practicum as they learn to evaluate, fit and fabricate P&O devices.

    Mr. Buckner has nearly two decades as a P&O clinician in private practice and hospital settings. His clinical interests include Inpatient Orthotic Rehabilitation management, with experience with spinal, upper extremity, and lower extremity orthoses. His work on a unique custom shoulder orthosis has been featured as a poster presentation at the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) Annual Meeting. Mr. Buckner majored in Psychology, minored in Computer Science and graduated cum laude from the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg). Subsequently he completed his Prosthetics (1997) and Orthotics (2001) training at NUPOC and residencies at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Springer Prosthetic and Orthotic Services (Lansing, MI).

    Mr. Buckner has practiced as a P&O clinician and performed management roles in private and institutional settings in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Mississippi. As an educator, he has mentored and conducted cross-disciplinary clinical education for residents at RIC and taught for the Orthotic Prosthetic Technology Program at Joliet Junior College. Mr. Buckner will share his time between NUPOC and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, where he focuses on inpatient Prosthetics and Orthotics.

  • Stefania Fatone at La Trobe University for Aussie Research Collaboration

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), research collaborations at La Trobe UniversityStefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), is onsite at Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia, to work with Michael Dillon, PhD, BPO(Hons), on collaborative research related to an AOPA-funded project, Evaluating Outcomes of Dysvascular Partial Foot and Transtibial Amputation: A Systematic Review and Development of Shared Decision Making Resources.

    Dr. Fatone’s research sojourn at La Trobe is funded through the La Trobe University Science Health and Engineering Research Grants: Collaboration Visits and Exchanges Scheme. From December 2016 to November 2019, the grant provides Dr. Fatone an honorary appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation, Nutrition and Sport (Prosthetics and Orthotics Discipline), School of Allied Health, College of Science, Health and Engineering at La Trobe University. The grant also supports Dr. Fatone’s research effort for 6 weeks at La Trobe, where she is working collaboratively with Dr. Dillon to write grant applications and manuscripts related to shared decision-making resources for persons facing dysvascular partial foot amputation.

  • Steven A. Gard Publishes Chapter in Handbook of Human Motion

    Steven A. Gard, PhD, has authored a chapter, “The Influence of Prosthetic Knee Joints on Gait” published in the Handbook of Human Motion (2016), B. Müller, S.I. Wolf, eds, Springer International Publishing AG. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-30808-1_75-1)

    This highly readable overview is valuable for its clarity and scope of different prosthetic knee designs and their typical gait outcomes. The chapter concludes with considerations for clinical improvement, prosthetic knee research design, and seminal references.

  • University of Salford Researchers Visit NUPOC, Discuss ESR Prostheses

    David Howard, PhD   James Gardiner, PhD 

    NUPOC welcomed David Howard, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and James Gardiner, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, both from the University of Salford, Manchester, UK. Dr. Gardiner and Dr. Howard visited NUPOC at the invitation of Matthew Major, PhD, who completed his doctoral work at the University of Salford under the supervision of Professor Howard. NUPOC researchers discussed mutual research interests with Dr. Howard and Dr. Gardiner.

    Drs. Gardiner and Howard presented a talk that examined scientific evidence suggesting that passive Energy Storage and Return (ESR) lower limb prostheses do not significantly improve the metabolic cost of walking, partly due to the absence of adequate push-off. They also presented a simulation study they developed to establish the feasibility of using a miniature hydraulic variable displacement actuator (VDA) within a prosthesis. The proposed device would store the eccentric ankle work from heel strike to maximum dorsiflexion in a hydraulic accumulator and then return the stored energy to power push-off. Design optimization established the best parallel spring characteristic and gear ratio between ankle and VDA. In level walking, normal push-off can be achieved and, over each gait cycle, the energy stored in the accumulator would increase by 22% of what is required for normal push-off. Yet to be developed is a miniature, low-losses, lightweight VDA that is half the size of the currently available smallest commercial device.

    NUPOC appreciates Dr. Major for inviting the researchers from the University of Salford and hosting the research seminar.

  • Closing Ceremony for MPO 2016

    Members of the MPO Class of 2017   Yumiko Shepherd receives the MPO cowl   Heloise Cillie (MPO 2017), flanked by John Michael (left) and Elliot Roth (right)

    The Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC), part of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, held a ceremony that marked the completion of a one year, on-site practicum for the MPO Class of 2017.

    John Michael, MEd, CPO, introduces Keynote speaker Jane CurryJohn Michael, MEd, CPO, director of NUPOC, moderated the program. Elliot Roth, MD, Chair of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Paul B. Magnuson Professor of Rehabilitation welcomed family, friends and faculty to the event. Diane B. Wayne, MD, Vice Dean for Education, delivered a message from the Office of the Dean of Medicine. Anna Avakian-Li, CPO, FAAOP, presented the Tamarack Awards; Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, presented the Yasukawa Award; and J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, recognized Lauren Thomas as the Inaugural Dual Degree Student who will graduate with the PT/MPO degrees. The faculty processional also included Steven A. Gard, PhD, Stefania Fatone, PhD, Matthew J. Major, PhD, Christopher A. Robinson, MS, MBA, CPO, Robert Lipschutz, CP, Bryan Malas, MHPE, CO, Melinda C. Thorpe, CPO, Roberto López-Rosado, DPT, MSPT, MA, and Justin Drogos, PT, DPT, NCS.

    Keynote Speaker Jane Curry, who supports NUPOC education as a patient model, delivered a memorable talk about the MPO program, the educational process at NUPOC, and the students’ development as nascent P&O clinicians.

    MPO Class of 2017

    After completing a final quarter of coursework and submitting their capstone research papers, the forty-eight NUPOC students expect to earn the MPO degree, fulfill residency training, and pass certification examinations.

  • Awards at Closing Ceremony for MPO Class of 2017

    Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, announces the Dale Yasukawa Award.  Anna Avakian-Li, CPO, FAAOP, announces Tamarack Awards at the MPO 2017 Closing Ceremony  J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, congratulates DPT/MPO dual degree student Lauren Thomas

    The Closing Ceremony for MPO Class of 2017 recognized awardees Samantha Wright and Joshua Zumbrun as winners of the Tamarack Award for excellence in orthotics; and Jennifer Murphy, recipient of the Dale Yasukawa Award that supports student attendance at professional meetings. Competition for both awards is available only to full-time candidates who are enrolled in the NUPOC Masters of Prosthetics and Orthotics degree program.

    Anna Avakian-Li, CPO, FAAOP, presented the Tamarack Awards; Michael Cavanaugh, CPO, presented the Yasukawa Award; and J. Chad Duncan, PhD, CRC, CPO, recognized Lauren Thomas as the Inaugural Dual Degree Student who will graduate with the PT/MPO degrees.

  • Introducing Julia Quinlan, PhD

    Julia Quinlan, PhDJulia Zelenakova Quinlan, PhD, has joined NUPOC as a Postdoctoral Fellow sponsored by a NIDILRR Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training Grant (Principal Investigators, Steven A. Gard, PhD, and Zev Rymer, PhD). During the one year grant period, Dr. Quinlan will work on a Department of Defense funded research project, No Longer Smooth: Introducing Striations into Prosthetic Socket Construction to Improve Suspension, Rotation, Fit and Comfort, led by Principal Investigator Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons). The project goals are to investigate the effect of different types of texturing on suspension, rotation, fit, and comfort, specifically to test if horizontal striations improve suspension; and if vertical striations help control transverse plane rotation for transtibial sockets.

    Dr. Quinlan will develop testing setups, fabricate required testing fixtures, and conduct experiments that will measure the coefficient of friction using sled and table friction; evaluate the tensile and static strength of sockets with different texturing patterns using a dumbbell specimen; and develop testing protocols for an INSTRON® material testing machine.

    Dr. Quinlan earned a doctorate in Bioengineering with a concentration in Biomechanics at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC); and a Master’s of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Engineering at The Technical University of Košice (TUKE), Slovakia. At TUKE, she was recognized with a Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student. Her doctoral dissertation addressed “Effect of Binge Alcohol Exposure on Intervertebral Disc Structure and Mechanical Properties in Adult Rats” and her Master’s thesis examined “Ambient Intelligence Tools Applied in Everyday Activities in the Home Environment”. Her work has contributed to 20 conference abstracts and presentations and she is a named author on 6 publications.

    In addition to her academic training, she also brings research experience in the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Research Laboratory, Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, IL, where she conducted spine biomechanics and general orthopedics research. She has worked as a technology commercialization analyst and consultant at the UIC Office of Technology Management. During her doctoral training at UIC, she taught 6 years of classes in Senior Design I and II and Biomechanics.

    Her early interest in mathematics and science led her to apply and be immediately accepted into the highly competitive BME department at TUKE. Although education is state subsidized, acceptance to each stage of educational promotion is rigidly controlled by increasingly difficult entrance examinations. Dr. Quinlan reflected, “Typically, about 1,500 students will be accepted to begin a course of study, but ultimately only about 60 people will graduate. If a student fails a class, s/he has 2 years to pass it. Students who fail or drop out must re-apply through the examination system.”

    Born during communist rule in Czechoslovakia, after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in 1993, Julia, her parents and younger brother lived in the independent and democratic Slovak Republic. To experience American culture firsthand and to hone her fluency in English, she spent 4 months in 2005 working for an exchange program in Yellowstone National Park where she developed strength and self-confidence by managing a series of life-changing personal and financial challenges. In 2006, prior to moving to the USA to pursue her doctorate, she spent a semester as a Socrates-Erasmus exchange student studying BME in Ghent, Belgium.

    Dr. Quinlan noted that although she had hoped to remain in Europe to better support her mother, “I must have been born with wandering boots. I’ve lived in Chicago for nearly 10 years and my husband is American, so my future is here in the USA.” Recently, she seldom has leisure time, but has played competitive intramural soccer, and is an accomplished gardener and seamstress. Dr. Quinlan said, “I enjoy attending theatrical and musical performances with my friends. I have attended the last eight seasons of the Chicago Lyric Opera”.

    Dr. Quinlan is passionately committed to research. She intends to pursue a career within a university setting where she can conduct research related to the biomechanics of the human musculoskeletal system, publish the results of her research, and share her knowledge by teaching students. We are delighted to welcome Dr. Quinlan and her multiple skills to NUPOC.

  • Fatone and Caldwell Teach NU-FlexSIV Socket Course at Ossur Americas

    Prosthetist confirms measurements on positive model of NU-FlexSIV Socket   Ryan Caldwell, CP, (seated right) with NU-FlexSIV check socket.  Prosthetist adjusts fit of NU-FlexSIV Socket.

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), and Ryan Caldwell, CP, taught the NU-FlexSIV Socket Course for prosthetists at Ossur Americas on November 18-19 in Orlando, FL. The course was successful and well attended. All the participating prosthetists fit the NU-FlexSIV Socket on their first attempt. Participants enthusiastically discussed the NU-FlexSIV Socket technique and its potential for application in the field. 

    Professional organizations and P&O clinics that wish to sponsor and host a NU-FlexSIV Socket Course for their prosthetists should contact Dr. Fatone

  • Matthew Major Delivers Poster Presentation

    Matthew Major, PhD, presented , “The Effect of Trunk Flexion on Lower Limb Kinetics of Able-Bodied Gait” at JSPS, November 12, 2016.Matthew Major, PhD, delivered a poster presentation, “The Effect of Trunk Flexion on Lower Limb Kinetics of Able-Bodied Gait” (co-authored with David Kluger, Stefania Fatone and Steven A. Gard), at the Japan-US Science Forum on November 12, in Cambridge, MA. The forum, “Changing the World through Japan’s Scientific Endeavors: Japan’s Rapidly Aging Society”, was coordinated by The Japan Society for the Promotion of Sciences (JSPS) and hosted US-based Japanese scientists and former JSPS fellows who conduct health-related research relevant to Japan’s increasingly large population of older aged individuals. Dr. Major was a 2003 JSPS research Fellow. His current research about stability in gait as presented in the poster is highly relevant to fall prevention, a major issue in the health and safety of an aging population.

  • Stefania Fatone Presents Project Update at PM&R Faculty Meeting

    Stefania Fatone, PhD, BPO(Hons), presented a research project update to faculty members who attended the quarterly faculty meeting of the Northwestern University Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The presentation, “Introducing the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket: A More Comfortable Socket for Transfemoral Amputees”, described the accomplishments related to this DOD-funded project that was conducted from 2010 to 2016. For more information about this research, please visit the  project page, "Development of Subishical Prosthetic Sockets with Vacuum-Assisted Suspension for Highly Active Persons with Transfemoral Amputations".

The Childress Fund

Established with a generous gift from the Childress family, the Childress Fund accepts donations that help to continue Dudley Childress' work by stimulating interest in rehabilitation engineering for Prosthetics-Orthotics.

The Childress Fund benefits all who are interested in P&O and especially individuals who live with physical impairments. We invite you to be part of this ongoing effort by giving generously to the Dudley S. Childress, PhD, Research and Education Fund.