University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Research Area: Biomedical & Healthcare Engineering

In the Biomedical and Healthcare Engineering group, we improve health through advancements in bioengineering and biomechanical design, and through operational and human factors-based improvements to the way healthcare is delivered.

Research Laboratories

Biofluids & Vascular Biology Laboratory
Control in Biomedical Systems

Research topics for the Control in Biomedical Systems Lab include:

  • Math models of the human thyroid.
  • Optimal dosing of radioactive iodine in Graves’ disease.
  • Pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamics model of erythropoiesis.
  • Design of anemia management protocols in end-stage kidney disease.

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Decision Making and Behavior Lab

The Decision-Making and Behavior Lab seeks to understand how we can improve individuals' decision-making, when the decision maker must understand how complex, uncertain events unfold over time:

  • How can we capture complex human-in-the-loop processes?
  • How can we visualize complex process information?
  • How can we present visual analytical information to decision makers?
  • How do we know if the information has improved decision-making?

The majority of our work focuses on healthcare decision-making...Read More

Laboratory for Multiscale Bioengineering and Mechanobiology

Our research applies and integrates fundamental engineering principles, such as manufacturing, biomechanics, materials science, and micro/nanoengineering, to understand and harness the mechanobiology of stem cells for modeling currently incurable human diseases and for applications in regenerative medicine. Current research interests include:

  • Stem cell bioengineering
  • System mechanobiology
  • Microengineering
  • Active biomaterials
  • Lab-on-chip
  • Tissue biomechanics
Lynch Research Group

The current standard of care for bone metastasis is therapies targeting the cells that degrade bone. These cells are directed by cancer cells to degrade bone in order to release pro-tumorigenic growth factors stored within the skeletal extracellular matrix. These therapies are not curative and do not halt metastasis-mediated bone degradation, indicating additional factors contribute to bone degradation. My research program focuses on the skeletal mechanical environment and its regulation of cancer. Specifically, I will investigate 1) the skeleton’s mechanical environment and its regulation of the remodeling process, and 2) the role of osteoblastic cells, which comprise the principal sensor and effector cells of mechanical cues, in metastatic processes. My long-term goal is to identify novel therapeutic targets for treating and preventing bone metastases as well as cancer-associated reductions in bone strength. My experimental approach uses novel in vivo and in vitro mechanical loading model systems to correlate cellular function with cancer pathogenesis, tissue-level changes in tumor burden, and skeletal tissue strength.

Mechatronics and Robotics Research Laboratory

In the MRRL our research focuses on developing human-centered robotic technologies for augmenting human gait and balance and exploring physical human-machine interfaces. The 1000 sq. ft. of lab space is dedicated to the fabrication and evaluation of physically interactive mechatronic systems.

Operations Research for Disease Prediction, Prevention, and Control

Disease — a threat that is common to all human beings across the globe and across generations. Prediction of diseases is a tough problem because it is the outcome of a complex dynamical system that consists of interactions between multiple factors related to epidemiological, social, economical, environmental, population mobility, demographical, and individual behavioral and lifestyle. Disease prevention and intervention decisions, and subsequently resource allocation, at the national and global levels thus need to be based on evaluations of the impact of alternative decisions under this complex dynamical context. Our lab works on development of new methodologies and computational models for simulating the dynamics of disease incidence and spread for purposes of disease prediction, prevention, and control.

Operations Research in Health Care

Our primary research interests are broadly in operations research applied to healthcare delivery. Some examples: I've worked on planning and scheduling of surgical suites; designing primary care physician panels to maximize timeliness and patient-physician continuity; and optimization of prostate cancer screening decisions. We have also recently begun looking at improving emergency room operations. In addressing these problems, we collaborate with a diverse set of...Read More