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Director's Message

Welcome to the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center (NUPOC). NUPOC was founded in 1958 to advance the quality of life for persons who use prostheses (artificial limbs) and orthoses (braces/splints). Many noteworthy advances in prosthetic and orthotic (P&O) rehabilitation have resulted from the creative application of science and engineering principles to solve clinically relevant problems within our research laboratories. Collaborations with the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Robert R. McCormick School of Engineering & Applied Science enable some of the best and brightest Northwestern University graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to participate in our work.

Established Education

NUPOC’s educational program is the largest and oldest accredited P&O training institution in the hemisphere. The innovative blended learning format provides a strong theoretical foundation combined with an intensive clinical practicum where students work directly with people who use the P&O devices they have created. Our Master of Prosthetics-Orthotics graduates are well prepared to complete a supervised residency and successfully pass national practitioner certification examinations.

Dedicated Research

The center continues to evolve in response to the rapid pace of advances in science, technology and healthcare. Our specially designed facilities on the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine campus combine state-of-the-art clinical teaching resources with extensive research capabilities, including the Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center Motion Analysis Research Laboratory. Our longstanding tradition of bringing together clinical experts, trained scientists and effective teachers provides an outstanding foundation for advancing the principles of evidence-based practice to improve the design, quality, cost-effectiveness and delivery of tomorrow’s P&O technology.

Accomplished Alumni

NUPOC alumni play a major role in P&O research, education and clinical care in the United States and around the globe. Many highly respected research programs are led and staffed by engineering doctoral graduates and postdoctoral fellows who were trained at NUPOC. The majority of P&O training institutions in the United States were founded, chaired or staffed by NUPOC graduates. No institution in the world has contributed more national leaders, more internationally recognized experts, more American Board Certified practitioners or more clinically relevant new knowledge to the P&O field.

Please browse this site for additional information about the exciting and important activities we undertake at NUPOC. Contact us for more information.


Steven A Gard, PhD
NUPOC Executive Director
Associate Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and McCormick School of Engineering


Michael L Cavanaugh, MSHI, CPO
NUPOC Director of Education
Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation