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The Biomechanics of Human Movement: Could Leonardo da Vinci Fly?

Steven J. Stanhope, Ph.D.
Director, Physical Disabilities Branch
Rehabilitation Medicine Department
NIH Clinical Center


Tuesday, October 26, 2004 • 7 pm
Masur Auditorium • NIH Clinical Center
Photo of Steven J. Stanhope

Steven J. Stanhope, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Physical Disabilities Branch, a collaborative endeavor between the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the NIH Clinical Center's Rehabilitation Medicine Department. He leads a multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians, engineers, and movement specialists working in the areas of biomechanics and biomedical engineering, human movement disorders, and oral motor function. The team's research activities and clinical services at NIH focus on improving the lives of people with physical disabilities and reducing the cost of healthcare.

Dr. Stanhope received his bachelor's degree in human movement studies from Boston University in 1980. He holds both master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park. His doctoral research studies concentrated on biomechanics, human anatomy and exercise physiology.

He has directed the Physical Disabilities Branch since 2001. Prior to that, Dr. Stanhope developed and led the Biomechanics Laboratory in the Clinical Center Rehabilitation Medicine Department for more than 16 years.

Dr. Stanhope has served as senior co-investigator on several NIH, Whitaker Foundation, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Defense grants. He is the NIH principal coordinator for medical rehabilitation research activities between NIH and the Instituto Superiore di Sanita of the Italian Republic. Recently, he led an effort to create and implement an interagency disability and rehabilitation research initiative in support of President George W. Bush's "New Freedom Initiative."

He received a patent for developing a system and method for performing simultaneous bilateral measurements on a subject in motion and has also participated in groundbreaking work in the development of clinical biomechanical analysis programs and related instrumentation that are now used by clinical facilities worldwide.

Dr. Stanhope has published and presented more than 100 research manuscripts and abstracts. He is an editorial board member for the journal Gait & Posture, an editorial consultant for several related journals, founding member of the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society and the Italian Society of Clinical Movement Analysis, and a member of both the American Society of Biomechanics and International Society of Biomechanics.

He maintains an adjunct faculty appointment in healthcare sciences at George Washington University, in biomedical engineering at Catholic University of America, and on the graduate faculty at the University of Maryland Medical School. He has served, and continues to serve, as an advisor, mentor and preceptor to postdoctoral fellows and clinical students in the areas of biomedical engineering, physical medicine, and biomechanics and movement science.

Dr. Stanhope believes that human movement analysis and related modeling and analysis methodologies are the cornerstones for development of innovative rehabilitation technologies, the conduct of basic and translational "trans-domain" rehabilitation research and clinical research that determines the mechanism of effect and efficacy of rehabilitation interventions.

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