UNC Faculty Awarded National Grant for Research on Prosthetics, Cancer

Principal Investigator Jeremy Smith, University of Northern Colorado assistant professor of Sport and Exercise Science, and co-PIs Gary Heise, David Hydock, and Carole Schneider have been awarded a grant totaling $348,436 in combined funding from the National Science Foundation and the university.

Smith studies movement in amputees fitted with prosthetics, research that could lead to informing better design of the devices and rehabilitation programs. In addition, he and his colleagues will examine the benefits of exercise on mitigating side effects of treatments for cancer survivors struggling with balance.

The Major Research Instrumentation Program grant, which will cover 70 percent of the project's total costs with NSF funds, is designed to help the researchers purchase equipment that will increase the ability to perform the type of research they have been conducting in the Biomechanics Lab in Gunter Hall and at UNC's Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Center. Specifically, the grant funding will be used to purchase a high-speed motion analysis system, a force measuring treadmill and a metabolic measurement system.

With the new equipment, Smith and co-investigators Gary Heise, professor of sport and exercise science, David Hydock, assistant professor of sport and exercise science, and Carole Schneider, professor of sport and exercise science, will research questions related to the mechanics and energetics of locomotion such as energy expenditure in below-knee amputees in addition to the cancer research.

The ordering process for the equipment has already begun and they anticipate the Gunter lab to be set up and ready for research by the spring semester.

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