Bio-X SIGF Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2008
Home Department: Mechanical Engineering
Faculty Advisors: Scott Delp (Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering) and Mark Schnitzer (Biology, Applied Physics)

Research Title: Measuring Sarcomere Lengths in Human Muscle: Instrument Development and Clinical Application

Research Description: Melinda’s goal was to understand the fundamental behavior of muscle by imaging sarcomeres, the smallest units of muscle tissue that contract to generate force. Sarcomeres had never been imaged in humans because they are smaller than the resolution of current clinical imaging modalities. Using a novel microendoscopy system, their laboratory imaged sarcomeres in humans for the first time. Melinda’s then used this newly developed system to quantify muscle contractile behavior in healthy humans and in individuals with spinal cord injury to improve surgical treatments that restore muscle function.


Melinda is a Senior Staff Systems Engineer at Johnson & Johnson.