Leann LesperanceLeann Lesperance

Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering

Research interests: healthcare quality; diabetes





Research Focus

My research focus is on understanding the behavior of living systems as complex systems, that is, systems which grow, develop, repair themselves, adapt to their environment and learn. These characteristic properties are not designed into living systems; rather, they emerge from the system as a result of non-linear interactions among the discrete, self-organizing components that make up the system. This approach is useful in the study of systems at all levels, from cells to organisms to populations, and even organizations.

In the human body, complex interconnections exist between the various organ systems. For example, the neuro-musculo-skeletal system interacts with and influences the cardiovascular, endocrine and other systems throughout the body. Recently, micromechanical stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot has been shown to have a profound effect on lower limb skeletal muscle activity, and in turn, on various other body systems. One of my main research interests is determining the extent to which neuro-muscular stimulation can help to regulate whole-body glucose levels and thus help to treat and/or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Similarly, complex systems theory can be used to study organizational behavioral and to guide organizational change. Another research focus is to apply complex systems engineering to understand and improve health care, by reducing medical errors, increasing access to care and improving the overall quality of care.


  • Residency - Pediatrics, Primary Care Track, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, 1995 to 1998
  • MD - Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1995
  • PhD - Medical Engineering, Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST), Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 1993
  • MS - Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1987
  • BS - Biomedical Engineering, summa cum laude, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, 1985

Academic Appointments

  • 2006-present: Assistant Professor, SUNY – Binghamton University
  • 2004-present: Clinical Assistant Professor, SUNY – Upstate Medical University
  • 2004-2006: Research Assistant Professor, SUNY – Binghamton University
  • 2004-present: Lecturer in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
  • 1998-2004: Clinical Instructor in Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School

Licensure and Certification

  • 1998: American Board of Pediatrics
  • 2004: New York State Education Department License in Medicine
  • 1995-2004: Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine

Honors and Awards

  • Clement Vaturi Fellow, 1992-93; Fred Roddy Fellow, Health Sciences and Technology, 1989-90; National
  • Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, 1986-89; Marquette University Graduate Fellow, 1985; Tau Beta Pi
  • Alpha Sigma Nu, and Alpha Eta Mu Beta Honor Societies, 1984

Relevant Publications


  • McLeod KJ, Gause D, Laramee CB, and Lesperance L, "Bioengineering as a Science Based Engineering Discipline" Submitted to Annals of Biomedical Engineering, Apr 2005.
  • Lesperance, L, Chen Wu, A, Bernstein, H, "Putting a Dent In Iron Deficiency," Contemporary Pediatrics 19(7):60-79, 2002.
  • Chen Wu, A, Lesperance, LM, Bernstein, H, "Screening for Iron Deficiency," Pediatrics in Review 23:171-177, 2002.
  • Gray, M.L., Burstein, D., Lesperance, L.M., Gehrke, L., "Magnetization Transfer in Cartilage and its Constituent Macromolecules," Magnetic Resonance in Medicine 34:319-325, 1995.
  • Lesperance, LM, Gray, ML, Burstein, D, "Determination of Fixed Charge Density in Cartilage Using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance," Journal of Orthopaedic Research 10:1-13, 1992.

Refereed Conference Papers:

  • Refereed Conference Papers Lesperance, L.M., Gray, M.L., Burstein, D., "Effect of Collagen Concentration and Structure on Magnetization Transfer in Hydrated Collagen and Cartilage," Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 12th Annual Meeting, New York, NY, August 1993.
  • Lesperance, L.M., Gray, M.L., Burstein, D., "Determination of Cartilage Fixed Charge Density with Sodium NMR Spectroscopy and Imaging," Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 10th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, August 1991.
  • Lesperance, L.M., Gray, M.L., Burstein, D., "Measurement of Fixed Charge Density in Intact Cartilage Using NMR Spectroscopy," Orthopaedic Research Society, 36th Annual Meeting, New Orleans, LA, February 1990.

Clinical Communications:

  • Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, "Ask a Scientist," November 2004, December 2004, April 2005.
  • Parents and Kids, Magazine interview, “Summer’s New Best Friends: Sunscreen and Insect Repellent, Your Guide to Summer Safety,” June 2004.
  • Working Mother, Magazine interview, “What to do if your child is choking,” May 2004.
  • CNNfn The FlipSide, Television interview, “What Should We Worry About?” Sep 30, 2003.
  • Woolf, A., Lesperance, L., “What Should We Worry About?,” Newsweek Sep 22, 2003.
  • The Ken Hamblin Show, Radio interview, “Breastfeeding,” Jun 4, 2003.
  • The John Walsh Show, Television interview, Keeping Children Safe: “Insect bites,” May 21, 2003.
  • BabyTalk, Magazine interview, “Outward Bound!” Jun/Jul 2002.
  • Lesperance, L., “The Common Cup: fears and realities,” Eucharistic Minister, Sep 2001.
  • Boston Herald, Newspaper interview, “Keep kids safe in summer,” July 8, 2001.

Last Updated: 1/15/14