||Craig McGowan, Ph.D.
||University of Idaho
My research interests are centered on understanding the relationships between the musculoskeletal morphology of humans and other animals and the biomechanics and neural control of locomotor performance. I address questions geared towards understanding the in-vivo dynamics of individual muscles, the influence of musculoskeletal architecture on muscle function, and the links between limb morphology, whole body locomotor performance and habitat utilization. Using a comparative approach, I integrate a number of research techniques including in-vivo muscle-tendon measurements, musculoskeletal modeling and computer simulation, and whole body biomechanics to examine how humans and animals adapt to meet the mechanical demands placed on them during terrestrial locomotion.
Evaluating muscle spasticity in genetic mouse model
Muscle spasticity is a painful, often debilitating condition that is arises as secondary symptom of upper motor neuron lesions. These lesions have multiple causes, from acute injuries to genetic disorders. The gold standard for determining the level spasticity in humans is a clinical passive motion test. However, such a test cannot be reliable conducted on mice. The goal of this project is to build on previous research to implement a measurement device to quantify the degree of muscle spasticity in genetically mutant mice which acquire spasticity during development. In this study, the student will learn how do build and control mechanical testing devices, how to design experiments to test measurement outcomes and how to interpret experimental data in the context of neuromuscular disorders.