Carrie L. Peterson, Ph.D.
Dr. Peterson is the director of the Rehabilitation Engineering to Advance Ability Laboratory (REALab) with expertise in the areas of musculoskeletal biomechanics and neurorehabilitation. Dr. Peterson received her B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), her M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and completed her postdoctoral training at Northwestern University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She has applied her expertise to direct rehabilitation for individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis and individuals with spinal cord injury. On-going work in the REALab also focuses on these patient populations. In addition to her research, Dr. Peterson enjoys contributing to service activities and teaching courses titled: Statics and Mechanics of Materials, and Rehabilitation Engineering and Prostheses.
Recent syllabi for her courses can be found here: Statics and Mechanics of Materials (EGRB 203), Rehabilitation Engineering and Prostheses (EGRB 423/EGRB 591-007).
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Thibault studied physiology, human movement sciences and rehabilitation towards his undergraduate and Master’s degrees at the University of Toulon and Aix-Marseille University in France. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. His research is focused on developing methodology to reliably quantify voluntary activation in neurologically impaired patients using transcranial magnetic stimulation. In the long term, he aims to develop new ways to investigate neuromuscular control and improve neurorehabilitation.
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Neil aims to translate his clinical background to improve the tools we have to help patients. He received his M.D. from Śląska Akademia Medyczna w Katowicach in Poland and B.S. and M.S. degrees in biomedical engineering from Drexel University. Neil’s previous research focused on tissue engineering to treat spinal cord injury. He now approaches spinal cord injury rehabilitation from a different angle by investigating the efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation (intermittent theta burst) to increase corticomotor excitability in individuals with cervical spinal cord injury.
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Paul is pursuing a M.S. after receiving his B.S. in biomedical engineering at VCU. Paul have various research interests, but has focused his work in the REALab on voluntary activation of muscle as assessed by neurostimulation techniques.
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Blaize received his B.S. in biomedical engineering from James Madison University and is pursuing a M.S. at VCU. Blaize is investigating the efficacy of non-invasive brain stimulation (intermittent theta burst) to increase corticomotor excitability of the pathway to the biceps in nonimpaired individuals and individuals with cervical spinal cord injury.
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Chris received his B.S. in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University. Chris is pursuing a M.S. and his research interests are in the areas of EEG and embodiment in rehabilitation.
Joshua is our research lab technician. Joshua received his B.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia and his M.S. in biomedical engineering from VCU. Joshua performs various tasks including assisting students with experimental design, subject recruitment, and the ever fun regulatory requirements associated with human subjects research.
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Alec is an undergraduate student studying biomedical engineering. Supported by the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Initiative, Alec is working on a project to investigate the reproducibility of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) targeting the cortical motor area corresponding to activation of the biceps muscle with and without use of navigated TMS.
Yasmina is an undergraduate biomedical engineering student who is pursuing the rehabilitation track. Within the REALab, she assists Dr. Peterson with musculoskeletal modeling and simulation analyses to estimate shoulder joint contact forces during wheelchair propulsion. Yasmina was awarded a Summer Research Fellowship through VCU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Research.
As a high school senior, Ben participated in the VCU Dean’s Early Research Initiative (DERI) program. He assisted with a project to determine the efficacy of repetitive non-invasive brain stimulation to increase the excitability of the motor pathway from the motor cortex to muscle. Ben is currently an undergraduate student at VCU studying biomedical engineering.
As a high school senior, McKenzie participated in the VCU Dean’s Early Research Initiative (DERI) program. In our lab, she developed a technique using pattern recognition and a low cost position sensor to track the location of a stimulating coil with respect to anatomical landmarks. In the long term, McKenzie aims to reestablish damaged neural networks so patients can achieve self-care tasks and participate in the activities they enjoy after a neurologic injury. McKenzie is currently an undergraduate student at VCU studying biomedical engineering.
Areej Ennasr received her B.S. in biomedical engineering at VCU. While pursuing her B.S., Areej conducted research in the REALab supported by a Undergraduate Research Opportunity Fellowship.