Dr. Shane Farritor (University of Nebraska at Lincoln)
Shane Farritor is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests include space robotics, surgical robotics, and biomedical sensors. Shane has founded two startup companies based on his research at UNL. Shane co-founded Virtual Incision Corporation with his surgeon colleague Dr. Dmitry Oleynikov at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Virtual Incision is developing miniature robotic devices that are placed inside the body during laparoscopic surgery. These new devices could have a significant impact on surgical procedures such as colon resection. Shane’s second startup, MRail, is developing a method to improve railroad maintenance by the measurement of vertical rail deflection. Shane is a native growing up in the small central Nebraska town of Ravenna. His wife is a physician at St. Elizabeth’s and they have four children. He received the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1992, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 1998.
Dr. Nicolaas Bohnen (University of Michigan)
Dr. Bohnen is Professor of Radiology and Neurology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. He attended medical school in the Netherlands and completed a PhD in neuropsychology. He completed residency training in neurology (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN) and nuclear medicine (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI). He was a fellow in movement disorders at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He holds clinical appointments in the Departments of Radiology (Division of Nuclear Medicine), Neurology at the University of Michigan and the Ann Arbor VA where he directs the movement disorders clinic. Dr. Bohnen’s research interests include the use of PET and MRI in the study of neurodegenerative disorders and normal aging. He is the Director of the UM Functional Neuroimaging, Cognitive and Mobility Laboratory where his clinical research has a focus on neurobiological correlates of mobility and cognition in normal aging and Parkinson disease and biomarker development for the diagnosis and treatment monitoring in Parkinson disease. His group has helped to identify non-dopaminergic pathologies of mobility impairments and falls in Parkinson disease including cholinergic denervation of the pedunculopontine nucleus, cortical b-amyloid build-up, vascular white matter lesions and more recently brain atrophy changes due to hyperglycemia (diabetes). His research in normal aging aims at the translation of treatment approaches from patients with neurodegenerative disease, such as Parkinson disease, to geriatric mobility problems. His long-term goals are to utilize imaging biomarkers in the effective implementation of targeted and personalized medicine of patients with mobility impairments. His research is funded by grants from the NIH, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Dr. Taija Finni (University of Jyväskylä)
Taija Finni completed her Ph.D. entitled “Muscle mechanics during human movement revealed by in vivo measurements of tendon force and muscle length” in 2001 at the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She continued to study muscle and tendon function at the University of California, Los Angeles, with J.A. Hodgson, V.R. Edgerton and S. Sinha as a post doc. Currently she is a professor in kinesiology at the Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. She also holds an adjunct professorship in exercise physiology at the University of Eastern Finland (since 2006). Prof. Finni has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles related to biomechanics and exercise physiology. She also runs translational research related to physical activity and inactivity paradigm. She serves as a biomechanics section editor in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and is a member of editorial board in Clinical Biomechanics. She has received recognition in young investigator’s competitions (e.g. 1st prize by ECSS, 1998 and 5th for Promising Young Scientist Award by ISB, 2005).