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Juergen.jpgJürgen Konczak, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and director of the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory, is co-author on a recent report on brain changes associated with postural training in patients with cerebellar degeneration. The project is part of an ongoing collaboration with a group of German neurologists from the University Medical Center in Essen and Kiel that investigates how well patients with damage to the cerebellum can restore function and respond to behavioral therapies. The report will be published in The Journal of Neuroscience, a highly ranked publication in the field.

brain-journal-cover.gifIn an international collaboration with colleagues from the Italian Institute of Technology and the Department of Neurology at the University of Genoa, Italy we investigated how Parkinson's disease alters haptic perception. Our research suggests that the disease accelerates age-related decline in haptic perception by altering somatosensory integration - a neural mechanism that combines sensory information from the many receptors of the skin and muscles. That is, perception as well as movement is affected by the disease. The results of the study appear in the journal Brain.

Joe Wentzel joins Amy Malsh, Jennifer Webeler, and Hannah Walsh as an award recipient under the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. Joe will conduct research in the Human Sensorimotor Control Laboratory and work with Jürgen Konczak, Ph.D. He will be involved in a project that measures arm position sense in healthy children.

Learn about the School of Kinesiology other UROP recipients here.

joelmaturi.jpgThe School of Kinesiology hosted 50 students from Minneapolis Southwest High School on Wednesday, December 12. The visiting students are part of the Sports, Exercise, and Health Science International Baccalaureate course at Southwest. The visit to the School of Kinesiology's labs and facilities provides these students with hands-on experience in world-class research labs—and allows them to see how their curriculum's content is utilized to benefit society and how research is put to action. The students visited the Human and Sport Performance Lab and the Human Sensorimotor Control Lab. They also toured TCF Bank Stadium with former Gopher Athletic Director and current adjunct instructor in the School of Kinesiology, Joel Maturi.

Juergen.jpgIn September, Juergen Konczak, PhD, professor of Kinesiology in the movement science area, along with other U of M colleagues, received an internal grant from the Comparative Medicine Signature Program Funding administered through the U of M School of Veterinary Medicine. The group of equine veterinarians, a genetics professor in neuroscience, and Prof. Konczak will investigate the genetics and electrophysiology of an equine neurological movement disorder referred to as "shivers." Dr. Konczak will serve as the CI on the 42K grant. His lab will do EMG on horses and assess their gait kinematics.

This unusual collaboration stems from Prof. Konczak's associations through the Center for Clinical Movement Science, which has been able to bring faculty from diverse backgrounds together for a common purpose.

In the coming week, a seven-member delegation of the University of Rzeszow, Poland will visit the University of Minnesota. The visitors are mainly faculty teaching physical therapy and movement science. They are interested in how kinesiology and interdisciplinary programs related to clinical movement science are organized and delivered and how research faculty interact with students in these programs. They will have the opportunity to visit several movement science classes of the School and visit some of its premier research and teaching laboratories next to other laboratories in the medical school.

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