Faculty researchers use equipment in the MARL to test and investigate new and improved treatment techniques. As a research lab, the goal is to eventually effect change in interventions on a wide scale.

Highlights of research projects underway in the MARL:

  • Vipul Lugade is working with mechanical engineering students from the Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science who are designing a fall-arrest system for use during gait assessments.
  • Sue O’Brien, Patima Silsupadol and Vipul Lugade are studying older adults with balance issues. After an initial assessment in the MARL, the subjects follow prescribed interventions at home using a smartphone app to track their results and identify fall risk. At the end of the study, which began in June 2022, the subjects will be reassessed to determine if they perform better on balance tests. This project team also includes Lijun Yin.
  • Launched in February 2022 is a project focused on people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The study is looking at whether home-based evaluations can objectively assess their gait and balance under single- and dual-task conditions. Vipul Lugade and Gurpreet Singh are using smartphone applications in this study.
  • Judith Quaranta and Vipul Lugade are evaluating the use of a picture-based well-being test among pediatric populations. Unlike text-based questionnaires, this evaluation might be more accessible and relevant to grade-school children. This project began in January 2022 and also includes Decker's Division of Nursing and the Windsor Central School District.
  • In April 2022, a community outreach project was initiated with the Broome County Office for Aging. Faculty and students are providing a thorough balance assessment for older adults in the community through visits to each of the county's eight senior centers. As part of an annual wellness checkup, evaluations include assessments of depression, fear of falling, activity levels, medications, fall history as well as standing and walking balance performance. The project team includes Vipul Lugade, Yvonne Johnston, Sue O'Brien, Gurpreet Singh, Kristen Mooney and Gauri MacDonald.
  • Vipul Lugade and Chao Shi are collaborating on a study to investigate motor, cognitive and driving performance in young adults after a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion. The overall goal is to inform better return-to-driving decision-making.
  • Vipul Lugade, Congyu Wu and Yu Jin are evaluating the effect of shoes on biomechanical measures of foot pressure, kinematics, and balance during standing, walking, running, and jumping among young female adults. The research hopes to understand the effect of shoe style, individual foot anthropometrics, and sex on movement, balance, comfort, and injury risk.

  • Vipul Lugade, Chao Shi, Michael Dulas and Thomas Komor are collaborating with the UHS Concussion Center and Sports Medicine physicians Stanley Hunter and Benjamin Kammerman to evaluate head impacts and the longitudinal effects of participation in high school football and among professional hockey players.  A holistic evaluation of balance, gait, cognitive performance, driving, spatial orientation and vision are conducted before and after each season, along with brain scans of athletes using the new MRI facility.