BIOMS students win national awards, scholarships
Pictured are, from left, Dave Logerstadt, Meg Sions, Billy Thompson, Rich Willy and Mehmet Uygur.


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3:30 p.m., July 14, 2010----Five students and two recent alumni of the Biomechanics and Movement Science (BIOMS) interdisciplinary graduate program at the University of Delaware have received awards and scholarships recognizing their accomplishments.

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Mehmet Uygur, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, received a Young Investigator Award at the Congress of European College of Sport Science. To be eligible for these prestigious and highly competitive awards, scientists must be under 32 years of age and within two years of Ph.D. graduation.

Uygur was one of the top 10 poster presenters in a field of 271 applicants who pre-qualified for the award. His poster, “Effects of Varying the Load Force Range and Frequency on Force Coordination in Static Manipulation,” was also published by the National Institutes of Health in 2010. The paper was co-authored by Uygur's adviser, Prof. Slobodan Jaric, and Paulo de Freitas, Jr.

Meg Sions and Dave Logerstadt were awarded Promotion for Doctoral Studies (PODS) I Scholarships from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. PODS I scholarships fund up to $7,500 per year in support of the coursework phase of post-professional doctoral studies.

Sions, who is advised by Greg Hicks, assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, is conducting research aimed at determining the impact of chronic low back pain on physical and psychosocial function in older adults.

Advised by Lynn Snyder-Mackler, Distinguished Professor of Physical Therapy, Logerstadt is investigating the clinical and functional consequences of injury, surgery, and rehabilitation on athletes who sustain anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

“As a practicing physical therapist since 1998,” Logerstadt says, “I had many questions regarding the effect of rehabilitation and surgery on the functional outcomes of patients with ACL injuries. Today, clinicians continue to face challenges regarding optimal treatment parameters to maximize function and reduce future disability of these patients. I came to UD to work with Dr. Lynn Snyder-Mackler, one of the top researchers in the area of knee dysfunction.”

Rich Willy and Billy Thompson received PODS II Scholarships from the same organization. PODS II scholarships fund up to $15,000 in support of the post-candidacy phase of post-professional doctoral studies.

Advised by Irene Davis, professor in UD's Department of Physical Therapy, Willy is studying the differences in lower extremity mechanics between males and females with patellofemoral pain syndrome, or runner's knee. He recently received a research award from the American College of Sports Medicine's Biomechanics Interest Group.

Thompson, who is advised by Cindy Farach-Carson, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, is conducting research aimed at understanding how bone cells sense mechanical stimuli and translate them into biochemical signals. This work has important implications in bone remodeling.

Thompson also received the Viva J. Erickson Award, given to a PODS II recipient who displays extraordinary academic merit and leadership within his or her program.

BIOMS alumnus Scott Stackhouse, who earned his doctorate in physical therapy at UD in 2003, was awarded a Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Grant. Stackhouse is now an assistant professor in the Physical Therapy Department at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa. His current research focuses on the combined effects of neural stem cell transplants and exercise in adult rats after incomplete spinal cord injuries.

In addition, Michael Lewek, a 1999 graduate of the physical therapy program at UD, won the Margaret L. Moore Award for Outstanding New Faculty Member from the American Physical Therapy Association. Lewek is an assistant professor in the Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Physical Therapy, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research involves improving functional mobility in individuals following stroke.

“I continue to be thrilled by the accomplishments and quality of our students and alumni,” says Katherine Rudolph, director of the BIOMS program and associate professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. “They have a strong track record of winning national awards and making a very strong showing at national meetings and after they leave UD, they continue to be leaders in the field.”

Article by Diane Kukich
Photo by Ambre Alexander