Sarah Roelker’s research in the UMass Neuromuscular Biomechanics Laboratory (NMBL) leverages musculoskeletal modeling and simulation techniques to gain insights into the neuromusculoskeletal mechanisms underlying typical and impaired locomotion to identify rehabilitation targets to improve locomotor function and quality of life in individuals with impaired mobility. A primary aim of her research is to identify the biomechanic and neuromuscular mechanisms contributing to impaired dynamic balance in populations with increased fall-risk using a combination of experimental and simulation techniques. The goal of this work is to identify intervention targets to improve dynamic balance and decrease fall-risk, particularly in older adults, individuals with post-stroke hemiparesis, and individuals with Parkinson’s disease. In addition, NMBL is working to characterize motor control across locomotor tasks in order to design models of neuromuscular control that can be incorporated into current musculoskeletal models to improve their ability to predict locomotor function and response to rehabilitation treatments.

Research Lab Website: 

NeuroMuscular Biomechanics Laboratory