People

Faculty

Lou DeFrate, ScD
Frank H. Bassett III, MD Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Material Science
Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering
Adam Goode, PT, DPT, PhD
Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery
Dr. Goode is an epidemiologist and physical therapist with a focus in musculoskeletal epidemiology and health services research. He teaches research methods and statistical inference and mentors DPT students on their capstone scholarly projects. His clinical interest is in the treatment of low back and cervical spine pain. His research interests are in lumbar spine degenerative changes, low back pain, and surgical outcomes and health services for cervical spine fusion.

Staff

Amber Collins, PhD
Amber is a Senior Research Associate currently using various imaging modalities (MRI-DESS and T1rho) to specifically quantify cartilage strain and glycosaminoglycan content in those post ACL injury and in those with a high BMI as a means of better understanding the role of injury and obesity in cartilage degradation. Additionally, Amber hopes to investigate gait biomechanics as a way of bridging the gap between activities of daily living to in vivo biomechanical and biochemical properties of cartilage.
Abigail Holt, BS
Abigail is a Research Technician with both the McNulty and DeFrate labs, and she mediates the ongoing collaborative research between the two. She is investigating biomarkers present in synovial fluid and serum of patients undergoing ACL reconstruction or meniscetomies to elucidate the biological mechanisms of joint degradation following injury. Additionally, she is investigating collagen structure and orientation in the meniscus and the effects of osteoarthritis on the extracellular matrix organization.
Krystal Tamayo, BS
Krystal is a Research Technician II in the DeFrate Lab working on investigating the effects of obesity on the local biochemical and mechanical environments of cartilage. She is interested in understanding the factors that contribute to obesity-related cartilage degeneration and, eventually, osteoarthritis. Currently, Krystal is measuring in vivo cartilage strains using a combination of MR imaging and 3D modeling.
Stephanie Thompson, MS
Stephanie is a Clinical Research Coordinator for the DeFrate Lab. Her role in the lab is mostly regulatory, as she manages all clinical studies involving patients. She makes sure that each study is conducted efficiently, safely, and within the guidelines of ICH’s “good clinical practice.” Within her role, she deals directly with research participants, investigators, and the Institutional Review Board.
Jack Twomey-Kozak, BS
Jack is a Research Technician in the DeFrate Lab working on a clinical trial seeking to evaluate recombinant parathyroid hormone (PTH) as a chondro-regenerative therapy for human knee osteoarthritis (OA). Jack is performing the image processing and cartilage strain analyses to investigate how drug-modulation of the PTH signaling pathway affects the biomechanical properties and composition of osteoarthritic knee cartilage. He is interested in integrating the disciplines of cell/molecular biology and biomedical engineering to devise solutions for sports-related orthopaedic injuries and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Postdoctoral

Hattie Cutcliffe, PhD
Hattie is a postdoctoral researcher whose work investigates cartilage biomechanics through the use of MR imaging methods to measure cartilage mechanical properties and composition. Through validation via mechanical testing, she is investigating the utility of these MR-based measures as markers of cartilage health.
Zoë Englander, PhD
Zoë is a postdoctoral researcher specializing in the use of medical imaging techniques to study in vivo biomechanics. Currently she is working on developing a system for using high speed biplanar x-ray images in conjunction with 3D models of the knee joint, created using MR images, to study knee joint kinematics and cartilage deformation during dynamic activity.

Graduate Students

James Coppock, MS
James is a PhD student in biomedical engineering. He is currently investigating risk factors associated with the development of low back pain by examining the mechanical and biochemical responses of the intervertebral discs to acute exercise interventions.
Lauren Heckelman, MS
Lauren is a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering who is currently investigating hip and knee cartilage thickness changes in response to running. She is also working to streamline the lab’s data analysis protocol for clinical application. Her interests include MR imaging, sport-related cartilage biomechanics, and post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
Sophia Kim, BS
Sophia is an MD-PhD candidate in biomedical engineering studying the biologic and biomechanical changes causing osteoarthritis after meniscus injuries. She also has interests in ACL injury mechanisms and non-invasive diagnostic markers that can detect earlier stages of osteoarthritis.

Medical Students

Bryan Crook, BS
Bryan is a third year MD student who is investigating the effect walking has on knee cartilage in patients with prior ACL injury. Using MRI and 3D modeling techniques, he hopes to learn more about the relationship between mechanical and biological factors underpinning cartilage function and the early development of osteoarthritis.
Pavan Kottamasu, MBA
Pavan is an MD student who is currently studying how osteoarthritis affects the biochemical properties and composition of knee cartilage. His research interests include the use of MR imaging techniques to determine cartilage health and deformation in response to routine knee activity.

Undergraduate Students

John Roh
John is a senior biomedical engineering undergraduate planning to attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. He is interested in knee mechanics and is helping utilize MR images alongside x-ray images to develop a deeper understanding of knee kinematics.
Ben Wesorick
Ben is a senior biomedical engineering student who is currently studying hip fracture risk in patients using CT images. He is developing a process to find the location in the hip most susceptible to fracture directly from imaging results. His interests include fracture biomechanics and digital image analysis/processing.