Brian D. Schmit, PhD

Professor of Biomedical Engineering
(414) 288-6125
Engineering Hall 344
brian.schmit@marquette.edu

Allison S. Hyngstrom, PT, PhD

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy
(414) 288-4566
Cramer Hall 255C
allison.hyngstrom@marquette.edu

Tanya Onushko, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
(414) 288-3162
Cramer Hall 160F
tanya.onushko@marquette.edu

Saad Alqahtani

Doctoral Student
Falk Laboratory
saad.alqahtani@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2011 BS Physical Therapy, King Saud University

2016 MS Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago

Personal Statement

I am entering my second year as a PhD student in the Clinical and Translational Rehabilitation Sciences Program at Marquette University. After I had graduated from my Bachelor degree, I worked as a Physical Therapist with stroke survivors intensively, and that experience allowed me to observe the neuromuscular deficits which those populations are facing at daily basis.

Research

I am interested in studying the neurophysiological changes post stroke. My ultimate goal is to integrate my academic research to clinical approaches that can be applied in clinics as rehabilitation interventions.

Priya Balasubramanian

Doctoral Student
Electroencephalography Laboratory
priya.balasubramanian@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

MSE Biomedical Engineering, Grand Valley State University

BE Electronics and Communication Engineering, Anna University

Personal Statement

I always wanted to be a surgeon. I realized, however, that this desire stemmed not just from the need to improve quality of life but to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics of human anatomy through research. While medicine continued to remain my passion, an undergraduate degree in electronics engineering from Anna University, Chennai, was my opportunity. Despite an initial tepid interest in becoming an engineer, courses in digital systems, signal processing, and programming interested me more than I expected. I consciously chose biomedical engineering for my master’s program to combine my aspirations in research and medicine with my engineering background.

Research

I am proud of the time I have spent on various research projects involving signal processing, image processing, and biomedical device design. My research experience with clinical data has afforded me the confidence to form and question my understanding of human anatomy and align myself to the mission of the department of biomedical engineering at Marquette University. My interest in Marquette University’s biomedical engineering program was primarily due to its research-oriented academic goals of interspersing engineering with clinical applications. Dr. Schmit’s work in neurorehabilitation, I believe, is an inspiring example of using imaging and signal processing as aid for clinical decision making after stroke or spinal cord injury and holds the promise of making my time at Marquette University challenging and rewarding.

Timothy Boerger

Doctoral Student
Treadmill Laboratory
timothy.boerger@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

MS Kinesiology, Illinois State University

BS Athletic Training, Concordia University Wisconsin

Personal Statement

Prior to coming to Marquette, I worked in an orthopedic clinic treating patients across the lifespan and especially for arthritic degeneration. During this time, I developed a strong interest in understanding the mechanisms of age and disease on motor control and function.

Research

My research interests, are related to understanding how aging and CNS diseases, especially spinal degeneration, impact walking performance.

Seongtaek Lee

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
seongtaek.lee@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2016 MS Biomedical Engineering, University of Alabama

2010 MS Biomedical Engineering, Konkuk University

2008 BS Medical Informatics, Konkuk University

Personal Statement

Hi, my name is Seongtaek Lee, and I am a PhD student under Dr. Schmit’s mentorship. I earned my BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering in South Korea, and conducted research on color image processing, ECG signal processing, etc. Then I went to United States in 2012 to learn medical imaging processing more deeply, and finally entered Marquette in 2016. In my spare time, I love to write calligraphy, play badminton, and watch NBA basketball games.

Research

I am interested in structural and functional connectivity of brain, and had an opportunity to investigate diffusion abnormalities in patients with different types of epilepsy using Diffusion Tensor Imaging before I enrolled in Marquette University. Right now, I am also interested in studies on spinal cord injury and myelopathy using different types of diffusion MRI.

Olesya Motovylyak

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
olesya.motovylyak@marquette,edu


Academic Degrees

2013 BS Biomedical Engineering, Lawrence Technological University

Personal Statement

I am a PhD student in the Functional Imaging Program at Marquette and the Medical College of Wisconsin. I became interested in imaging though undergraduate research programs. I looked at the effect of diabetes on white matter hyperintensities in the brain at Illinois Institute of Technology. In the summer of 2012, I imaged bubble rafts as part of a research experience. I look forward to making my contribution to the Neural Imaging Laboratory.

Research

Diffusion Weighted Imaging (DWI) is an MR technique that allows for indirect measurement of the movement of water molecules. It has been widely used in the field of spinal cord injury (SCI) to obtain measures of spinal cord viability, however, its use in the clinic has been limited due to a lack of a reliable biomarkers for the extent of tissue damage.

A major obstacle in extending DTI into the clinic is the fact that many patients with SCI obtain stabilization hardware at the location of injury, which may cause artifacts and prevent an accurate evaluation of damage. One solution to this problem is focusing on the proximal regions of the cord as opposed to lesion epicenter. Previous students in the lab have documented decreased diffusion rostral and caudal to injury in rats ex vivo as well as human subjects in vivo. These changes have been correlated with injury severity as well as time. As the result, my study focuses on the cervical spinal cord after a thoracic injury. The project proposes to use unique scanner sequences to quantify changes in spinal cord in vivo and confirm them with quantitative histology.

Spencer Murphy

Doctoral Student
Robotics Laboratory
spencer.a.murphy@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2011 BS Exercise Science, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I have just completed my first year of graduate school within the Biomedical Engineering program. An internship studying Central Pattern Generators using a lamprey model within the Neurobiology Lab at Marquette University sparked an interest in neuroscience. After graduating from Marquette University in 2011 with a BS in Exercise Science, I looked to integrate my backgrounds in neurobiology and exercise physiology with engineering. This encouraged me to seek a position as a graduate student within the Integrative Neural Engineering & Rehabilitation Laboratory at Marquette University. Currently, I am taking both neurophysiology and biomedical engineering courses to supplement my research interests. When I am not at Marquette, I enjoy watching sporting events, playing golf and pick-up basketball, attending concerts, and film.

Research

Currently, I am assisting in a study that investigates the effects of altered perfusion on neuromuscular fatigue and leg function post-stroke. This study proposes that paretic muscle activity may be ending prematurely because of inadequate blood flow. To date, no studies have examined the relationship between blood flow and neuromuscular fatigue within the paretic leg of stroke patients. The aim is to quantify stroke-related impairments of femoral artery endothelial function during a fatiguing leg muscle contraction. A long-term goal is to develop treatment interventions that will optimize strength training and improve walking.

Wesley Richerson

Masters Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
wesley.richerson@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2017 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

As an undergrad, I began my interest in neural engineering after shadowing a surgeon performing Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) surgeries witnessing the power of neural imaging to provide information about pathways in the brain that be applied in neuro modulation techniques such as DBS to effectively treat symptoms of various movement disorders. As I continue into my first year as a graduate student in the lab I am continuing the exploration of the human brain. When not in the lab, I enjoy riding my bike on the oak leaf trail, playing guitar, and reading.

Research

My research project involves understanding the structural and functional pathophysiology of cognitive impairments in end stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment.

Dylan Snyder

Doctoral Student
Electroencephalography Laboratory
dylan.snyder@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2011 BS Biomedical Engineering, Louisiana Tech University

Personal Statement

Hi, my name is Dylan, and I am entering my 5th year of graduate school at Marquette University. I graduated from Louisiana Tech University in 2011 with a B.S. in biomedical engineering. I became interested in neural engineering during my undergraduate years when I learned of brain computer interfaces; after learning about devices such as these, I knew I wanted to do research in neural engineering. I enjoy watching and playing every sport and happily welcome any challengers. I also enjoy roaming about Milwaukee with friends and of course a good local beer every now and again.

Research

Early on in neuroscience, it was thought that the brain was segmented into different areas concerned with controlling a distinct function, but as science and technology have advanced, it is becoming clearer that the brain’s regions act together as complex networks to accomplish goals. Cortical networks are defined as regions of the brain that pass information to and from each other to achieve an objective.

My research interests are focused on the human brain and how it takes advantage of these cortical networks to control the arm during goal-directed movement. More specifically, how these networks change after a neurological injury such as stroke and determining if there is a way to restore normal network activity.<\p>

Miguel Sotelo

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
miguel.sotelo@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2016 BS Biomedical Engineering with Biomechanics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I initially chose a bio-mechanical engineering degree because I wanted to run away from computer programming and coding. However, I realized that programming is one of the most exciting vehicles to investigate biomedical questions in a creative way. I initially became interested in image processing and neuroimaging late in my undergraduate career, and I recently decided to continue my education into a Ph.D to solve interesting problems involving the human connectome and how different pathologies affect structural connectivity. When I am not in the lab, I like to play soccer and ping-pong, work-out, and explore the night scene in Milwaukee.

Research

Can we boil-down complicated mental tasks, such as cognition, motor and sensory control, and psycho-social interactions to a set of direct and indirect connections in the brain? Can we describe the effects that neuronal pathology has on the brain other than constrained by its location or its size? Do these in-vivo measurements describe what we see in the clinic, and can we design customized rehabilitation approaches to help get people back on their feet? These are all questions we try to answer in neuroimaging. We use Diffusion-weighted Magnetic Resonance Imaging to indirectly estimate local white matter fiber orientation, and from this information we can use mathematical models to estimate global white matter connectivity. By using software and scripts developed in the lab, we can automate heavy computer processes into manageable tasks, and then assess structural connectivity both at the regional and at the voxel level. The short-term goal is to identify networks affected by stroke. The long-term goal is to use this information to inform rehabilitation.

Kelsey Tynes

Masters Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
kelsey.tynes@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2017 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I am a Master’s student in Marquette University’s Neural Imaging Lab. My interest in medical imaging pushed me to pursue biomedical engineering to gain more knowledge on different systems and how they can be used to gain insight into various neurological conditions. When not in the lab, I enjoy water skiing, rock climbing, playing soccer, and exploring the city of Milwaukee.

Research

My research looks into the changes in functional connectivity following a stroke. Specifically, I’d like to see how these changes are affected by Botulinum-Toxin therapy, which involves injections administered to the spastic limb to help regain motor control and relieve the patient’s pain. The functional connectivity changes tell which networks are initially affected by stroke, and further investigation may show which networks are responsible for the progress seen from rehabilitation efforts.

Jacob Van Dehy

Masters Student
Treadmill Laboratory
jacob.vandehy@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2016 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I'm a Masters of Science student under Dr. Schmit interested in understanding neuromotor control of balance while walking.

Research

My main goal is fall prevention in neurologically compromised populations such as stroke survivors and multiple sclerosis patients.

Kaleb Vinehout

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging Laboratory
kalbe.vinehout@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2013 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I am a PhD student in the Functional Imaging Program at Marquette University and the Medical Collage of Wisconsin.

Research

My current research interests are in understanding neuroplasticity among stroke survivors. To accomplish this i am working with functional and structural connectivity data obtained with MRI. Prior to this my research interests included the BNST role in addiction and the effectiveness of CT imaging systems.