Applied Movement Performance Lab

Ben Darter standing in front of split-belt treadmill Director:
Benjamin J. Darter, PT, Ph.D.

Lab Mission:
To advance rehabilitation medicine by increasing our understanding of the abilities and barriers faced by individuals with physical disabilities. 

Research Interest:
To develop and investigate measurement systems for use in research and clinical practice in persons with limb loss, limb difference, or other polytraumatic injury, as well as interventions that facilitate optimal functional performance.

Exploring the Impact of Microprocessor-controlled Knees on Prosthesis Awareness and Overall Health

The Development of Candidate Items to Assess Prosthesis Awareness in Individuals with Upper Extremity Amputation

  • Purpose: To initiate development of a self-report measure of prosthesis awareness for users of upper extremity prosthetic devices
  • Collaborating Institutions: VCU, University of Washington, and Hanger Clinics
  • Funding Source: VCU PERQ Presidential Research Quest (PERQ)

Comparing the Attentional Demands and Functional Outcomes of Pattern Recognition and Direct Myoelectric Control in People with Transradial Amputation

  • Purpose: To characterize the benefits and limitations associated with using an upper limb myoelectric device with pattern recognition control and to determine which types of patients are best suited to this control strategy
  • Collaborating Institutions: VCU, University of Washington, and Hanger Clinics
  • Funding Source: Department of Defense CDMRP Orthotics and Prosthetics Outcomes Research Program (OPORP)

Optimizing gait rehabilitation for Veterans with non-traumatic lower limb amputation

  • Purpose: To test the efficacy of error-manipulation gait training programs for older Veterans who have non-traumatic lower-limb amputation
  • Collaborating Institutions: VCU, Central Virginia Veterans Healthcare System (Richmond VAMC), University of Colorado-Anschutz medical campus
  • Funding Source: Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Effects of Impaired Limb Function on Gait Adaptability (Funded by a VCU Center for Clinical and Translational Research Endowment Award)
  • Gait Adaptability and Split-Belt Walking in Persons with Lower Extremity Amputation (Funded by a National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences Career Development Award)
  • Safety Study of Percutaneous Osseointegrated Implants for Prosthetic Attachment (Funded by the VA Rehabilitation Research and Development Service)
  • An Exploration of Employment Barriers and Employment Skill Enhancement of Veterans with Traumatic Amputations (Funded by the Department of Education)
  • Brian Hafner, PhD, University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Cody McDonald, PhD, MPH, CPO, University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Beth Halsne, PhD, CPO, VA Puget Sound Health Care System Seattle Division, Center for Limb Loss and Mobility (CLiMB)
  • Shane Wurdeman, PhD, CPO, Hanger Clinics, Hanger Institute for Clinical Research and Education
  • Sheila Clemens, PhD, PT, University of Kentucky, Department of Physical Therapy
  • John Hermenson, MD, Central Virginia Veterans Health Care System, Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center
  • Doug Murphy, MD, Central Virginia Veterans Health Care System, Regional Amputation Center
  • Joe Webster, MD, Central Virginia Veterans Health Care System, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Service
  • Cory Christiansen, PhD, University of Colorado Anschutz medical campus, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation- Physical Therapy Program
  • Sarina Sinclair, ME, PhD, University of Utah, Orthopaedics
  • Bo Foreman, PhD, PT, University of Utah, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training
  • Dan Syrett, Ph.D. Student
    B.S. Biology, Colorado State University, 2007
    DPT Physical Therapy, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2012
    Dan is a practicing orthopedic Physical Therapist. His research interests include biomechanics of the lower extremity, gait mechanics, and developing effective interventions for use in the clinical setting. He started his Ph.D. studies in fall 2017.
  • Tanu Bhargava, Ph.D. Student
    B.S. Physical Therapy, Manipal University, India, 2014
    M.S. Kinesiology, University of Michigan, 2017
    Tanu’s research interests include using qualitative methods to explore the concept of prosthesis attention. She started her Ph.D. studies in fall 2017.
  • Matt Holman
    B.S. Athletic Training, Appalachian State University, 2009
    M.S. Health and Movement Sciences, Virginia Commonwealth University, 2013
    Matt started working toward a Ph.D. in 2015. His research interest includes understanding how different feedback modalities can be designed to inform purposeful movements.
  • Elena Dernovish, SPT
  • Lucas McQueen, SPT
  • Nathan Sulkin, SPT
  • Bethany Labreque DPT Student
  • Nancy Henderson Ph.D. Student
  • Kathryn Harrison Ph.D. Student
  • Susanne Van Der Veen Post-Doctoral Student