The West Orange, NJ-based Kessler Foundation’s Karen J. Nolan (pictured right), PhD, was recently nominated for the 2012 Novel Art in Science Award for her work in restoring function to stroke survivors with foot drop, reports a Kessler Foundation news release. The Novel Award aims to recognize excellence in pressure distribution research. As an expert in walking patterns, Nolan’s work centers on studying techniques to improve gait in people with disabilities. 

Nolan reportedly received the nomination in recognition of her research, titled “Changes in Center of Pressure (CoP) Displacement with the use of a Foot Drop Stimulator in Individuals with Stroke.” The work was submitted to the Expert Scientific Meeting (ESM) biannual conference and co-authored by Kessler biomedical engineer Matthew Yarossi. The release notes that as a result of her nomination, Nolan will present a paper on her original research at the international ESM 2012 meeting, slated to be held in August at Aalborg University, Northern Jutland, Denmark.

Nolan says she is honored by the nomination and explains the driving force behind her research, “My research explores new ways to improve mobility of people with physical disabilities, including stroke survivors, so that they can have more active lives,” Nolan says.

According to the release, the award for best scientific manuscript in the field of load distribution measurement will be announced at the final ESM reception. An international review committee yielding from the fields of biomechanics, engineering, and medicine will review the submitted papers.

Nolan is also reportedly comparing the WalkAide to a traditional ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) in stroke survivors with foot drop, and serves as an assistant professor in the department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at UMDNJ—New Jersey Medical School.

Source: Kessler Foundation