Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center


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.

  • Matthew Major Is Researcher of the Month

    Matthew Major, PhDMatthew Major, PhD, is Researcher of the Month at the Jesse Brown VAMC (Research Services Newsletter, July 2017). The article features his research, Sensory-Motor Mechanisms Underlying Fall Risk in Transtibial Amputees. Dr. Major explains, “The musculoskeletal and somatosensory mechanisms that are vital to controlling upright balance are impaired in Veterans with below-knee, or transtibial, limb loss”, thus contributing to elevated fall incidence. Currently, Dr. Major is conducting experiments to: 1) characterize anticipatory and response mechanisms when below-knee prosthesis users experience a perturbation during walking; and 2) identify biomechanical and clinical factors related to functional balance that may predict future falls.

    With improved understanding of the effects of lower limb loss and reduced sensory-motor function on upright balance among below-knee prosthesis users, Dr. Major aims to "design effective assessment tools and intervention strategies that can be integrated into the VA System of Care”, thereby minimizing fall risk among Veterans with below-knee amputation.

  • NUPOC to Present External Power in ULP Symposium for MPO 2018

    MyoBock Symposium 2016  Myobock Symposium 2016  MyoBock Symposium 2016

    The External Power in Upper Limb Prostheses (ULP) Symposium will introduce MPO 2018 students to Otto Bock UL systems. Students will learn from instruction, demonstration and application of MyoBoy testing and PAULA software. Under the supervision of NUPOC and Otto Bock personnel, MPO students will conduct myotesting on educational models who have upper limb amputations, fit trial sockets, convert test sockets to trial prostheses, confirm extended proprioceptive function and adjust control strategies. Knowledge testing is conducted during and after the learning modules. A central module of the Symposium is the clinical critique when student teams present their work to faculty and colleagues and their models demonstrate the functional outcomes.  

    This intensive, hands-on, in-house Symposium enables NUPOC MPO students to fit and program external power systems for persons with UL amputations, a skill some practitioners may not experience until their residency.

  • Roger Rose Wins 2017 Yasukawa Scholarship

    Roger Rose (NUPOC MPO 2018) wins 2017 Yasukawa ScholarshipRoger Rose (MPO 2018) is the 2017 Yasukawa Scholarship recipient. Mr. Rose will use the $1,000 award to defray the cost of attending national and regional P&O scientific meetings. He said, “I attended the 2017 AAOP meeting (Chicago) and really enjoyed learning about new technology, improvements in clinical care and patient resources. That meeting showed me that new knowledge in P&O can directly translate into the quality of care that I can provide to my patients”. Mr. Rose said, “I am committed to becoming an educated clinician capable of providing excellent care for patients”.

    Mr. Rose shows discipline in planning, setting and fulfilling academic, professional and personal goals. At NUPOC, his capstone project focuses on the effects of spirituality and religiosity on rehabilitation outcomes for individuals who have experienced a limb amputation. As an undergraduate, Mr. Rose studied biomedical engineering and was team leader for a yearlong capstone project that developed and built a custom-made, upper-limb electronic feedback system for an individual. He received the competitive New American University Scholar-President’s Award Scholarship (2009-2015) that promotes solutions to social problems, was frequently on the Dean’s List, and graduated with honors, earning a BSE summa cum laude (Arizona State University, Tempe, 2016).

    Service is a defining factor that Mr. Rose integrates into all facets of his life. For two years, he served as a missionary among the indigenous Kuna residing on the San Blas Islands (Panama), where he led and trained a team of 20 missionaries and developed Spanish-language fluency. He served as leader of a weekly men’s group at his church in Arizona. In addition to a rigorous schedule at NUPOC, he assisted an underinsured family man to obtain a lower limb prosthesis. Currently, he and his wife enjoy volunteering together as genealogy research consults; and they also volunteer at a local retirement community. Mr. Rose expresses a sincere desire to help individuals, “The Yasukawa Scholarship will help me to help others”.

  • Matthew Major Presents at 2017 Annual Student-Faculty Retreat

    Matthew Major, PhD, spoke at the 2017 annual retreat for Medical Scientist Training ProgramMatthew Major, PhD, was a faculty participant at the annual Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) held June 30-July 2 in Chicago, IL and Delavan, WI. Dr. Major spoke to MD/PhD students about research opportunities in biomedical engineering, prosthetics and orthotics at NUPOC and PM&R. The retreat balanced content that included keynote speakers, student research posters, presentations, reports and updates with social programing.

    In 1964, the National Institutes of Health awarded funds to Northwestern University to establish the MSTP program. To date, more than 250 students have graduated from Northwestern University as MD/PhD dual degree professionals who combine research, teaching, clinical and administrative roles.

  • Bruce Boyer Exhibit Opens at NUPOC

    Bruce Boyer Exhibit Opens at NUPOC

    At NUPOC, science, technology and art intersect. In recognition of the artistry that is intrinsic to the allied health discipline of Prosthetics and Orthotics, NUPOC features an exhibition of oil paintings by Bruce Boyer, PhD.

    Bruce Boyer paints abstract works and explores juxtapositions of shape and color. This exhibition highlights five of his recent oils on canvas. Engaged in both graphic and literary expression, Dr. Boyer has written for publications that include Chicago Magazine, The Christian Science Monitor and the Chicago Tribune. He is author of a novel, The Solstice Cipher and The Natural History of the Field Museum; and co-author of Miniature Rooms, The Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Artists and Certified Prosthetists-Orthotists (CPOs) cultivate similar skills. Using three-dimensional artistry that bridges science and technology, CPOs fit and fabricate functional prostheses and orthoses for their patients. A maxim holds that a good prosthetist-orthotist needs the triad of “head, heart, and hands”. Superior cognitive ability, compassion, and hand skills enable CPOs to serve their patients well. As scientists and clinicians, CPOs are trained rigorously in human anatomy, biomechanics, behavioral sciences, professional issues, practice management, and independent research. NUPOC appreciates Dr. Boyer for making this exhibit available.

  • NUPOC Welcomes Zaki Naqvi

    Zaki Naqvi, NUPOC research volunteer (summer 2017).Zaki Naqvi joined NUPOC as a summer research volunteer working under the supervision of Matthew Major, PhD, on Fall Risk and Prosthetic Influence on Gait Biomechanics in Upper Limb Amputees. Mr. Naqvi will analyze changes in center of mass data obtained from subjects with an upper limb prosthesis during standing balance. Matthew Major, PhD, and Steven A. Gard, PhD, are Principal Investigators of this research project.

    Mr. Naqvi is a rising sophomore at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) where he studies Kinesiology and Economics. He intends to pursue medicine and specialize in musculoskeletal issues. On campus, Mr. Naqvi participates actively in the Indian Student Association and is co-founder of Students Teaching Sales, a club that supports student-initiated entrepreneurism and start-ups.

    As a high school athlete, Mr. Naqvi was captain of his track team, where he experienced repeated injuries. However, his experience as a recipient of physical therapy piqued his interest and set his career goals toward human physiology, anatomy, and musculoskeletal functions. Musical and kinetic, he auditioned and achieved the leadership position Drum Major. In addition, the Deerfield High School District Board of Education awarded him the 2016 John F. Kennedy Medal of Honor for courage in the pursuit of excellence. NUPOC is delighted to welcome Mr. Naqvi.

  • NUPOSS Volunteers at Go-Baby-Go! Workshop

    NUPOSS MPO 2018 volunteers at Go Baby Go! 

    Twenty-five NUPOSS members of the MPO class of 2018 participated in the Go-Baby-Go! workshop held on June 10, 2017 at the Shriners Hospital for Children (Chicago). The event retrofitted and provided battery-operated cars for 12 toddlers. Parents applied to the program to receive a free car for their children with mobility impairments. The program places a special focus on spina bifida, a congenital condition that may cause paralysis in the lower limbs. 

    Working in teams, NUPOC volunteers modified the cars by transferring the accelerator control from the foot to the hand to fit the physical ability of each child. This program serves children aged 2 to 5 years old with limited mobility, cognitive age of 12 months or greater and no severe visual disorder. Parents agreed to supervise their children whenever they used the adapted cars. 

  • NUPOC Holds Orientation for MPO 2019

     John Michael welcomes the incoming MPO class of 2019.  Piper Kruse provides hardware directions for incoming class of MPO 2019.

    Class of MPO 2019 tours NUPOC during onsite orientation.NUPOC welcomed the Master of Prosthetics and Orthotics (MPO) class of 2019 to a 3-day, onsite orientation to the MPO program. Annually, NUPOC accepts a maximum of 48 students and the 2019 class filled rapidly, closing with a full cohort of highly qualified and competitive candidates.

    NUPOC and members of the MPO 2018 Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Student Society (NUPOSS) assisted MPO 2019 with important tasks that included tours, introductions, hardware, software and text acquisition, identification protocols, photos, and digital access, information about resources available to NUPOC students, and registration for professional society memberships. John Michael, CPO, MEd, managed the orientation program, and provided opening and closing remarks; John Brinkmann, CPO, MA, FAAOP(D), presented “Expectations of Blended Learning”; and Melinda Thorpe, CPO, presented “Introduction to Online Learning”.

    NUPOSS officers facilitated many aspects of the orientation for MPO 2019 NUPOSS representatives were instrumental in facilitating the orientation program and offered collegial assistance to MPO 2019. NUPOSS members, Bradley Carver, Kierra Falbo, Sydney Graham, Ruth Guiness, Cole Harper, Michael Hoggatt, Terese Jenks, Brandon Jones, Nathan LaPerriere, Kyle Miller, Stephanie Mullen, Morgan Murphy, Sheila Pach, Emily Power, Megan Sech, Christopher Surface, and Brad Wanko.

    Plentiful social opportunities enabled the incoming class to make new collegial relationships. The annual dinner cruise along the Lake Michigan shoreline was a favorite activity and provided an ideal ambiance for forging new acquaintances among faculty and students. MPO 2019 will return to NUPOC for a yearlong clinical practicum that will begin January 2018.

  • Hot Off the Press: POI Features NU-FlexSIV Socket Articles

    NU-FlexSIV Socket articles in POI June 2017Three articles by NUPOC researchers represent about one third of the Original Research Reports published in the June 2017 issue of Prosthetics and Orthotics International. The articles are: (1) Fatone S, Caldwell R (2017) Northwestern University Flexible Subischial Vacuum Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation: Part 1 Description of Technique. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, June; 41(3):237-245. [doi: 10.1177/0309364616685229]. (2) Fatone S, Caldwell R (2017) Northwestern University Flexible Subischial Vacuum Socket for Persons with Transfemoral Amputation: Part 2 Description and Preliminary Evaluation. Prosthetics and Orthotics International, June; 41(3):246-250. [doi: 10.1177/0309364616685230]. (3) Fatone S, Johnson WB, Tran L, Tucker K, Mowrer C, Caldwell R (2017) Quantification of Rectifications for the Northwestern University Flexible Sub-Ischial Vacuum (NU-FlexSIV) Socket. Prosthetics Orthotics International, June; 41(3):251-257. [doi: 10.1177/0309364616684165]

  • William Brett Johnson, PhD, Visits NUPOC

    William Brett Johnson, PhDBJ Johnson, PhD, visited NUPOC. Dr. Johnson, a graduate of Northwestern University (MS 2008; PhD 2011), currently is a postdoctoral fellow working under the mentorship of Amos Winter, PhD, in the Global Engineering and Research (GEAR) Lab, Department of Mechanical Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The GEAR lab develops low-cost, high-performance assistive devices and “technological solutions for use in highly constrained environments, including designs for emerging markets and developing countries.” Dr. Johnson and NUPOC researchers met to discuss his recent projects.

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.