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Jennifer Hicks - Bio-X Bowes Fellow

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.

WHERE IS SHE NOW?

Jennifer serves as a Deputy Director of the Wu Tsai Human Performance Alliance At Stanford University, Director of Data Science of the Mobilize Center at Stanford University, and the associate director of the Restore Center, an NIH-funded center also at Stanford that brings state-of-the-art engineering tools to rehabilitation scientists. She oversees the center’s Visiting Scholar Program, Pilot Projects, workshops, webinars, and online resources, and is the research and development manager for the OpenSim software platform.