Loyola University Chicago


Research Spotlight: Dr. Vincent Chen

Research Spotlight: Dr. Vincent Chen Cvr Photo

Members of the Chen Lab outside Cuneo Hall (L-R, C. Grosskopf, A. Senthilkumar, E. Zurawski, V. Chen, P. Chan, M. McCullen, S. Abutaleb, L. Tran)

Dr. Vincent Chen wins National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award

LUC Engineering Assistant Professor Dr. Vincent Chen has won the National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award, which will provide more than $500,000 in funding to conduct research in the field of neurorehabilitation.  Members of the lab, including Cassandra Grosskopf, Madelyn McCullen, Patrick Chan, Lynn Tran, Evelyn Zurawski, Sharf Abutaleb, and Aniruth Senthilkumar assisted Chen with the preliminary work that led to this grant award.  

The CAREER Award is NSF’s most prestigious honor for faculty members in the early stages of their careers.  Chen will receive five years of funding to support research in developing biomedical devices utilizing neuromodulation approaches to assist, support and/or improve sensory or motor functions of patients who suffer from neurological ailments, and to enhance the results of therapeutic exercises performed during physical therapy sessions.   

Through the analysis of different factors derived from neuromuscular contractions, focusing on the relationship with power spectral density on one hand and the central and peripheral contributions provided by such contractions on the other, the team hopes to establish the fundamental theory of utilizing electrical modalities to enhance physical rehabilitation, and to use insights derived from this research project to provide a better understanding of how electrical stimulation can be used to facilitate neurorehabilitation.  The ultimate objective is to design biomedical devices that can apply electrical stimulation to the brain and peripheral nerves to improve muscle strength, delay muscle atrophy, and induce neuroplasticity.