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
Systems Neurophysiology
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
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
Locomotion
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.

Douglas Gobeski

Doctoral Student
Locomotion
douglas.gobeski@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2008 BS Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University

2008 BS Materials Science and Engineering, Michigan State University

Personal Statement

I began my engineering career as a process engineer, working in industry. Five years in, I realized that I wanted to work on new problems that hadn’t been solved before, and have a more direct impact on people’s wellbeing. Thus, I decided to return to school to pursue a PhD. In my free time, I’m either reading, gaming, podcasting, or hiking.

Research

I am researching gait stability and dynamic balance in stroke survivors.

Seongtaek Lee

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging
seongtaek.lee@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2016 MS Biomedical Engineering, University of Alabama at Birmingham

2010 MS Biomedical Engineering, Konkuk University

2008 BS Medical Informatics, Konkuk University

Personal Statement

Hi, my name is Seongtaek, and I am a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering Program at Marquette and Medical College of Wisconsin. I became interested in brain MR imaging during my undergraduate years. And I had an opportunity to learn brain imaging at UAB and to do research on white matter integrity in patients with epilepsy. Those experiences encouraged me to eager to know more about MRI. I am interested in medical image processing in general, and am currently excited about spinal cord imaging.

Research

Perfusion imaging is a great non-invasive MR technique that shows how well blood perfuses in your body. One of perfusion imaging techniques is Arterial Spin Labeling (ASL), and my main goal is to develop/optimize spinal cord ASL MR sequences for quantitative diagnosis of spinal cord injury as well as improved behavioral outcome prediction after spinal cord injury.

Stephanie Raab

Doctoral Student
Systems Neurophysiology
stephanie.raab@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2016 MS Clinical & Translational Rehabilitation Health Science, Marquette University

2012, BS Biology, St. Norbert College

Personal Statement

I’ve been interested in neuroscience for as long as I can remember. Through personal connections and my volunteer work with the National MS Society, I became particularly interested in neurological diseases and injuries and wanted to learn more about how and why they occur. A career in the medical field seemed like it might have been the right fit for me, but then I learned more about the world of research during my final year at SNC. I realized that I wanted to solve big picture problems for people living with neurological injuries and improve upon the types of treatments they typically receive. When I’m not in the lab, I enjoy playing soccer, running, traveling to new places, and reading the latest books on the criminal justice system and cold cases

Research

Every year, hundreds of thousands of individuals suffer a stroke and most of these people do not recover to 100% of their pre-stroke function. With conventional therapies, we continue to see a large percentage of stroke survivors with atypical gait patterns and it is hypothesized that the inability to fully activate their lower extremity musculature during therapy is partly to blame. Our lab has previously shown that ischemic conditioning (IC), a paradigm during which we deliver transient bouts of ischemia to the leg, can improve gait speed, regional blood flow, and muscle strength. Because the effects of IC wash out with time, we are currently exploring the effects of using IC as an adjunct to traditional, high-intensity gait therapy. The goal is to see if we can “prime” the neuromuscular system so that stroke survivors can benefit more from high-intensity therapy and experience further improvements to their gait.

Wesley Richerson

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging
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.

Lara Riem

Doctoral Student
Locomotion
lara.riem@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2018 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

I first started attending Marquette as an undergraduate in Bioelectrical engineering. I started working under a PhD student the summer of my sophomore year. My job was to create visual feedback for a 6 DoF motion platform to be used to test a myoelectric prosthesis during walking. After creating the link between a visual display and the physical environment, I shifted my focus into virtual reality. I started using the Vive to map the virtual world to the physical world, changing one or the other to see the differences in physical and perceived reactions. With this research I was able to travel and present my work, in which I decided to stay at Marquette and the joint MCW program to get my PhD. I’m currently investigating the role of visual stimulus in immersive environments in Multiple Sclerosis, investigating both postural control and gait. My current research has shown the importance of embodiment, peripheral vision, and directional control in balance.

Research

I’m currently using VR to examine postural response to varying frequencies of visual perturbations. I’m using this to examine directional dependence, embodiment and peripheral vision reliance in Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Currently I’m examining the possibility of bidirectional control or interpretation in MS balance control, as well as increased reliance of visual presence of self. I’m hoping to continue examining the use of VR during gait, and further, the role of the visual system and it’s interaction with the motor pathway.

Dylan Snyder

Doctoral Student
Electroencephalography
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.

Miguel Sotelo

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging
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.

Ricardo Vega

Master's Student
Neural Imaging
ricardo.vega@marquette.edu


Academic Degrees

2018 BS Biomedical Engineering with Bioelectronics Emphasis, Marquette University

Personal Statement

My interest in neural imaging began during my undergraduate studies, where I conducted a basic study evaluating the structural connectivity between the motor cortex and the cerebellum. From that point on I was hooked on finding more about the eloquent operations within the brain and the non-invasive methodologies used to assess pathological states, specifically stroke. This initial introduction kick-started a curiosity that led me to continue on with my educational career and pursue a Master's degree in the field of neural engineering. Outside of research I enjoy playing basketball, listening to music, painting, and fashion.

Research

Assessing the structural-functional connectivity between regions of the brain by incorporating probabilistic methodologies to obtain structural information.

Kaleb Vinehout

Doctoral Student
Neural Imaging
kaleb.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.