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Postdoc position in hand biomechanics and motor control at penn state university

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  • Postdoc position in hand biomechanics and motor control at penn state university

    The Biomechanics Laboratory at Penn State University is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral fellow interested in hand and finger biomechanics and motor control of hand function. The research is conducted together with the Motor Control lab and is performed under the guidance of Prof. V. M. Zatsiorsky (biomechanics) and Prof. M.L. Latash (motor control). The position is for two years with the possibility of renewal. The position is funded by an NIH grant.

    The current research program is aimed at understanding of the hand biomechanics and finger coordination/control in prehension tasks involving several digits, force sharing among fingers as a model of the redundancy problem, biomechanics and control of manipulation in elderly and in patients with central and peripheral motor disorders, e.g. in patients with Parkinson disease. A continuing focus for many of the research projects will be analyzing the biomechanical aspects of motor control problems especially related to manipulation of the hand-held objects. This direction of research combines biomechanics, motor control, robotics and clinical disciplines. The Laboratory has unique equipment to perform this research.
    The Laboratory is highly productive with a total number of publications per year exceeding 10 papers in peer-reviewed journals. A short list of recent publications is presented at the end of this letter.

    An ideal candidate would have earned a PhD in the area of biomechanics, motor control, robotics, biomechanical engineering, neuroscience, or a related field. Outstanding young scientists from the biological and engineering sciences with a record of scientific excellence and a strong interest in interdisciplinary approach to motor control are encouraged to apply.
    Candidates should have strong interest in pursuing research in Biomechanics, Neuroscience and/or Motor Control of hand function. The applicant is expected to get involved in existing research projects but is also encouraged to bring to bear his/her own research topics.
    Technical expertise using data collection systems such as force/torque
    transducers and EMG is desired. Experience with computers and programming
    is expected. Previous experience in analyzing and interpreting kinetic and kinematic data using LabView and/or MatLab software would be advantageous. Fluent English and good writing skills are expected.

    The successful applicant will join a multidisciplinary team of
    investigators with complementary research programs examining various
    aspects of the musculoskeletal system. The Penn State Department of Kinesiology provides an intellectually stimulating and scientifically fertile environment. Several excellent seminars attract prominent scientists from around the globe. The Department regularly hosts international visiting scientists, and have frequent scientific and social interactions between and within laboratories. Our group has interactions and occasional collaborations with the laboratories of Drs. Karl Newell, Robert Sainburg, David Rosenbaum, Steve Piazza, and John Challis among many others.

    Interested candidates are kindly requested to send a letter of interest by email to: Prof. Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, <>. The letter should describe the candidate's motivations, previous research experience, and relevant skills. The letter should be accompanied by a short CV with the list of publications. In addition, three letters of reference will be requested.

    Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky,
    Biomechanics Laboratory
    39 Rec. Bldg
    Department of Kinesiology
    The Pennsylvania State University
    University Park,
    PA 16802

    Phone: (814) 865-3446
    Fax: (814) 865-4755
    Email (preferred):

    P.S. Recent publications on hand function
    1. Gorniak, S. L., V. M. Zatsiorsky, M.L. Latash. (2010). Manipulation of a fragile object. Experimental Brain Research 202(2): 413-430
    2. Latash, M. L., J. Friedman, S.W. Kim, A.G. Feldman, V.M. Zatsiorsky (2010). Prehension synergies and control with referent hand configurations. Experimental Brain Research 202(1): 213-29.
    3. Singh, T., S. K. Varadhan, V.M. Zatsiorsky, M.L. Latash (2010) Fatigue and motor redundancy: adaptive increase in finger force variance in multi-finger tasks. Journal of Neurophysioogy 103(6): 2990-3000.
    4. Kapur, S., J. Friedman, V.M. Zatsiorsky, M.L. (2010). Finger interaction in a three-dimensional pressing task. Experimental Brain Research 203(1): 101-118.
    5. Terekhov, A. V., Y. B. Pesin, Niu X., Latash ML, Zatsiorsky VM (2010). An analytical approach to the problem of inverse optimization with additive objective functions: an application to human prehension. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 61 (3): 423-453.
    6. Park, J., Zatsiorsky VM., Latash ML (2010) Optimality vs. variability: an example of multi-finger redundant tasks. Experimental Brain Research 207: 119-132.
    7. Singh, T., Varadhan M. V. S, Zatsiorsky, V. M., Latash ML (2010). Adaptive increase in force variance during fatigue in tasks with low redundancy. Neuroscience Letters 485(3): 204-207. NIHMS237481
    8. Kapur, S., V. M. Zatsiorsky, Latash, ML (2010). Age-related changes in the control of finger force vectors. J Appl Physiol 109(6): 1827-1841.
    9. Varadhan, S. K., V. M. Zatsiorsky, Latash M.L. (2010). Variance components in discrete force production tasks. Exp Brain Res 205(3): 335-349.

    1. Martin, J. R., Zatsiorsky V. M., Latash, M.L. (2011). Multi-finger interaction during involuntary and voluntary single finger force changes. Exp Brain Res. 208(3): 423-435
    2. Terekhov, A. V. and V. M. Zatsiorsky (2011). Analytical and numerical analysis of inverse optimization problems: conditions of uniqueness and computational methods. Biol Cybern 104(1-2): 75-93.
    3. Slota GP, Latash ML, Zatsiorsky VM (2011). Grip forces during object manipulation: experiment, mathematical model, and validation. Exp Brain Res 213(1): 125-139.
    4. Gorniak, S. L., Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011) Manipulation of a fragile object by elderly individuals. Exp Brain Res 212(4): 505-516.7W
    5. Martin JR, Latash ML, Zatsiorsky VM. (2011). Coordination of contact forces during multifinger static prehension. J Appl Biomech 27(2): 87-98.
    6. Park J, Sun Y, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011). Age-related changes in optimality and motor variability: an example of multifinger redundant tasks. Exp Brain Res 212(1): 1-18.
    7. Park J, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011) Finger coordination under artificial changes in finger strength feedback: a study using analytical inverse optimization." J Mot Behav 43(3): 229-235.O
    8. Martin JR, Budgeon M K, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011). Stabilization of the total force in multi-finger pressing tasks studied with the 'inverse piano' technique. Hum Mov Sci 30(3): 446-458.
    9. Sun Y, Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011). Prehension of half-full and half-empty glasses: time and history effects on multi-digit coordination. Exp Brain Res 209(4): 571-585.
    10. Sun Y, Park J Zatsiorsky VM, Latash ML (2011). Prehension synergies during smooth changes of the external torque. Exp Brain Res 213(4): 493-506.