Applied Movement Performance Lab

Benjamin J. Darter, PT, Ph.D.

Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
1201 Broad Rock Blvd, Room 1W-100A
Richmond, VA 23249

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 interventions which facilitate optimal functional performance in persons with lower extremity amputation or other polytraumatic injury.

Lab Description:
The laboratory is a newly developed 800 sq ft (74 sq meters) space used for rehabilitation research. The laboratory maintains a 16-camera motion capture system for recording activity occurring on an instrumented split-belt treadmill with adjustable incline abilities, and an overground walkway with 4 imbedded force sensing platforms. A portable metabolic testing system and a 16-channel wireless EMG system are also housed within the laboratory.

Current Projects

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)


  • Hunter Holmes McGuire VA Medical Center
  • Center for Performance and Clinical Research, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, MD
  • University of  Utah and Salt Lake City VA Medical Center
  • VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center

Current Students

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 began working on a Ph.D. in fall 2015. Her research interests include bridging the gap between exercise physiology and biomechanics with a focus on motor control. She started her Ph.D. studies in fall 2017.


Matthew Holman, Ph.D. Student

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.