Nov. 28: Alumnus Michael Rainbow to share his biomedical research

Penn State Behrend alumnus Dr. Michael Rainbow, of the class of 2004, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School’s Spaulding National Running Center Lab, will give a public overview of the lab’s current research on Monday, Nov. 28.

Rainbow’s presentation, “Wrists, Knees and Baseball Bats: Research in an Orthopaedic Biomedical Engineering Lab” will be held at 2:30 p.m. in 101 Otto Behrend Science on the campus of Penn State Behrend. The presentation is free and open to the public.

After graduating from Penn State Behrend with a degree in physics, Rainbow worked as a researcher at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Erie and at the Cleveland Clinic before entering a doctoral program at Brown University. He earned his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering earlier this year.

“Biomedical engineering is a multidisciplinary field that borrows expertise from almost every field in the pure and applied sciences, including physics, biology, mathematics, engineering, chemistry, computer science and medicine,” Rainbow said. “In my subfield of biomechanics, we focus on trying to understand the mechanisms that cause an organism such as a person or animal to move the way it does. Surprisingly, there are many unanswered questions, because even movements we take for granted, like walking across a room or throwing a dart, are not fully understood.”

In his overview of the research taking place in his Harvard lab, Rainbow will share findings from three current projects: A three-dimensional analysis of a Little Leaguer swinging a baseball bat; an x-ray videography series that tracks the knee joint of a volunteer performing a jump-cut maneuver; and a simulation of the intricate motion of the eight small bones in the wrist, which was the topic of his Rainbow’s doctoral dissertation.

This alumni speaker event is an outreach program of the School of Science at Penn State Behrend. For additional information, contact the school at 814-898-6105.

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Last Updated November 16, 2011