Meet the CoBal Lab Team
John J. Jeka
Principal investigatorDr. John Jeka joined the University of Delaware in 2017 as Professor and Chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology. Dr. Jeka is internationally recognized for his work on human locomotion and balance, with a specific interest in how information from multiple senses is fused for upright stance control. His interdisciplinary research team, which included kinesiologist, biomedical engineers, physical therapists and mathematicians, investigates basic mechanisms in adaptive sensorimotor control in healthy individuals and in patient populations with neurological diseases. With over $10 million in funding, Dr Jeka has been continuously funded since 1994 with grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation as well as private foundation such as the Shriners Foundation and the Erickson Foundation. He has published over 80 articles and has patents on assistive devices to aid mobility.
Jaclyn received her BS in Bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and her MS and PhD in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware. At Delaware, she focused on head impact biomechanics in soccer. She is currently investigating how subconcussive head impact influences vestibular and visual processing for maintaining balance during gait. She loves to run, eat, and spend time with her husband and two amazing dogs, Franklin and Maximus.
Balance during walking after concussion
David joined us in Delaware after completing his PhD at UNSW Sydney. Coming from a background in engineering, he developed an interest in sensory physiology which led to his doctoral work on sensory contributions to spatial orientation. David is excited about applying this knowledge to investigate sensory contributions to balance during walking in Parkinson’s disease. When he gets out of the lab, David enjoys fencing and taking photos with old film cameras.
Post-DocHendrik studies how humans maintain balance during walking. He induces artificial sensations of falls in people by electrically stimulating the vestibular system or moving a projected visual scene. Hendrik was born as a mathematician, then grew up doing a Ph.D. in theoretical neuroscience at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, and now turned into to an experimental neuroscientist with a focus on neural control of movement. Hendrik is currently funded by a Research Fellowship from the German Research Foundation (DFG). In another life, Hendrik balances playing board games, rock climbing and badminton with the excruciating delight of family life with two kids.
Graduate StudentFelipe is a PhD student at the Biomechanics and Movement Science program. He was born and raised in Brazil, where he graduated in Physical Therapy at Universidade Metodista de Piracicaba (UNIMEP). He specialized in osteopathy at Escuela de Osteopatia de Madrid, Spain. Felipe owned and led three Physical Therapy clinics in Brazil, before he decided to move abroad to pursue graduate studies. As an osteopath he developed knowledge in how biomechanical dysfunctions can influence various impairments between interconnected regions of the body. Felipe joined the CoBaL Lab with an interest in vestibular impairments across different populations. Felipe is a sports enthusiast and a former professional swimmer, when he is not at the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Fernando Vanderlinde dos Santos
Fernando is a PhD student at the Biomechanics and Movement Science program and former NeuroMotor Science student. He was born and raised in Brazil, where he graduated in Physical Therapy at Universidade do Estado de Santa Catarina (UDESC). Fernando practiced in his own clinic, working mainly with spine/hip injuries and balance impairment patients. He is the author of “Videogames na Saude e Reabilitação”, a book about the use of videogames and virtual environments for rehabilitation. He develops virtual environments for use in different projects. Fernando’s main focus is in vestibular impairments in people with concussions. His interests are wearable technologies and haptic devices. When Fernando is not at the lab, he likes to bike, ski and perform martial arts.
Ian is a PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science (BIOMS) program. He received his BS from the University of Connecticut and his MS from Merrimack College, both in Exercise Science. Previous research has been focused on investigating the dose-response relationship between physical activity and physical function in mobility-limited older adults. His current research interests lie in investigating movement dysfunction across a variety of conditions, including traumatic brain injury and Parkinson’s disease. When not in the lab, he can frequently be found rock climbing, watching football, or being mediocre at trivia.
Balance during walking after concussion
Maelyn is a current graduate student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program. Maelyn received her B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in biomechanical engineering from the University of Delaware. Previous experience includes building D.I.Y medical devices for those in the local disabilities community as well as motion capture analysis. Maelyn joined the CoBal Lab with an interest in understanding the neurological aspects of Parkinson’s Disease during locomotion. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, breakdancing, and reading.
PhD StudentRoshita is currently a doctoral student with undergraduate degree in Physical Therapy from Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical College, India and a masters degree in Kinesiology from Boise State University, USA. She is currently working on how individuals maintain upright balance while maneuvering over/around obstacles.
Stephen "Deebs" DiBianca
Stephen ‘Deebs’ is a current graduate student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science Program. Stephen received his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in biomechanics and human performance from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Previous work has spanned from medical device design of prosthetics and orthotics to modeling viscoelastic properties of biomaterials such as cartilage and bone. Stephen joined the CoBal Lab with an interest in neurological aspects of locomotion and virtual reality game design for clinical application. In his free time you can find him training in the Southern Chinese style of Kung Fu called Wing Chun and the Afro-Brazilian style of martial arts called Capoeira.
PhD StudentTyler is a transfer PhD student in the Biomechanics and Movement Science (BIOMS) program. He completed his Bachelor degree in Kinesiology at West Chester University. Tyler has developed skills in programming, biomechanics, gait analysis, and data analytics. He has used these acquired techniques and analytical skills to assist in uncovering the balance mechanisms during walking in both healthy and patient populations. Tyler is a sports enthusiast, participating in activities ranging from racket sports to kayaking and fishing.