Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2007
Home Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Scott Delp (Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering)

Research Title: Simulation-Based Treatment Planning for children with Cerebral Palsy

Research Description: Many children with cerebral palsy walk with a crouched posture that prevent them from moving safely and efficiently. Since the body is a complex dynamic system, it is difficult for clinicians to determine why a patient walks in a crouch gait and prescribe an appropriate treatment plan using the current set of tests and assessment techniques. The goal of Jennifer’s research was to develop objective tools based on biomechanical simulation and statistical modeling to identify which factors—including muscle weakness, bony deformities, or joint tightness—contribute to a patient’s crouch gait and should be corrected with treatment.


Jennifer is Executive Director of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance at Stanford, with a focus on collaborative research projects and programs to advance our understanding of the biological principles underlying human performance. Dr. Hicks also serves as the Director of Research for the Mobilize Center, an NIH Biomedical Technology Resource Center at Stanford University and the Restore Center, an NIH-funded center that brings state-of-the-art engineering tools to rehabilitation scientists.