New SBU High-Tech Rehab Research Lab Breaks Ground


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    7,000 Square Foot RRAMP Laboratory Slated for Completion Later in 2009 

    STONY BROOK, N.Y., March 31, 2009 - Administrators and faculty from the Stony Brook University School of Health

    Richard Johnson, PT, Clinical Associate Professor and Chair, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, SBU School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM); Sue Ann Sisto, PT, MA, PhD, Research Director, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences; Shirley Strum Kenny, President, Stony Brook University; Craig Lehmann, Ph.D., Dean, SHTM, Interim Executive Dean, SBU Health Sciences Center; Barbara Chernow, Vice President, SBU Facilities & Services; Michael Murray, Assistant Director of Design, FD&C; Andrew Narus, Vice President, Hirani Engineering and Land Surveying, Inc.; Yumi Yoshino-Hempel, Project Architectural Designer, and Martin Ryan, Project Manager.

    Technology and Management (SHTM) gathered in the center of what will be a high-technology laboratory dedicated to rehabilitation research at a March 11 groundbreaking ceremony. The 7,000 square foot facility, called the Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance (RRAMP) Laboratory, will be the first facility of its kind on Long Island. RRAMP will pool the expertise of SBU rehabilitation, medical and engineering researchers to find innovative ways to improve the health and mobility of individuals experiencing physical and cognitive disabilities.

    To be run by the SHTM, the laboratory will be located in SBU's Research and Development Park and is expected to be completed before the 2009-10 academic year. Researchers from disciplines within the Health Sciences, as well as from the Schools of Medicine and Engineering, will collaborate at RRAMP to analyze patients' difficulties with walking and other mobility problems, with the expectation of designing diagnostic and treatment solutions to their problems through technological means.

    "This highly sophisticated laboratory will be a first for Stony Brook Health Sciences," said Craig Lehmann, Ph.D., Dean, SHTM, and Interim Executive Dean, Health Sciences Center. "The lab will be an important aspect to growing the research component of many Health Sciences Center programs."

    "Over the next five years, we expect to develop RRAMP into a flourishing regional research center that will help thousands in the area stricken with neurological diseases, orthopedic disorders or debilitating injuries," said Sue Ann Sisto, P.T., M.A., Ph.D., Professor and Research Director, Division of Rehabilitation Sciences, SHTM. "The technological capacity of the lab in concert with the broad medical expertise available through the medical center will enhance the rehabilitation of patients with serious injuries and diseases."

    "We are excited about this high-tech laboratory, which will enable important discoveries that will affect the lives of many patients over time," added Shirley Strum Kenny, President, Stony Brook University.

    Dr. Sisto said that research teams at RRAMP will be made up of faculty across numerous SBU Schools, as well as experts from Brookhaven National Laboratory. There will be research teams for spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke, Huntington's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and for amputations, orthopedic disorders, sports injuries, pediatric diseases such as cerebral palsy and pediatric cancers, as well as geriatric disorders, cardiovascular disease and obesity-related conditions.

    Built into the floor within the center of the lab (groundbreaking photo location) will be force plates designed to capture ground reaction forces during gait/walking. Other built-in technologies will measure kinetics of wheelchair propulsion and orchestrate 3D computer imaging to measure position and movement. Electrodes will measure muscle activation patterns and will be synchronized with the imaging and kinetic data to give a detailed picture of movement patterns. Other computer-based systems will also help researchers measure metabolic rates, brain activation patterns, body comparison and other physiological and performance measurements of individuals.

    The Division of Rehabilitation Sciences at the Stony Brook University School of Health Technology and Management (SHTM) includes the Departments of Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Athletic Training and Adapted Aquatics. The Division educates students based on research evidence on topics that impact clinical practices in the Rehabilitation Sciences. Division faculty engage in advanced research, much of which will involve the new Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance (RRAMP) Laboratory.