WSU Cougar Head Logo Washington State University
WSU Insider
News and Information for Faculty, Staff, and the WSU Community

Professor receives prestigious grant

 
PULLMAN – Anita Vasavada, assistant professor of bioengineering at WSU’s College of Engineering and Architecture, recently received an NSF CAREER grant to examine postural stability of the head and neck.
 
With this five-year $486,522 grant, Vasavada and her research team will study how the activation of neck muscles complements passive tissue stiffness to achieve postural stability. Neck muscles are important for both static postural stability (i.e., holding up the head) and restoring head posture under dynamic conditions, such as those that might occur during a blow to the head or an automobile accident.  When muscles are unable to stabilize the head, it can lead to injury and chronic neck pain.

“This grant will give us a better foundation for preventing and treating neck injury,” Vasavada said. “We don’t know much about how the neck muscles support the head, which is important in understanding chronic neck pain and injury.”

In collaboration with the CREAM (Culturally Relevant Engineering Applications in Mathematics) program, Vasavada will also take this research into high school classrooms in the Pullman, Pasco and Omak school districts. She and her students will develop physical models of the head and neck system to illustrate how mathematics and physics are used in biomechanical analyses of neck injury and its prevention. 

“This is a good way to teach topics like trigonometry and rotational motion,” she said. “It should be interesting (to the students) as head and neck injury does affect them disproportionately relative to adults.” 

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education.

Next Story

Bee center filling up, honey extractor moves in

Honey will soon be made at WSU’s Honey Bee & Pollinator Research, Extension, and Education Facility in Othello after a large equipment move.

Recent News

Bee center filling up, honey extractor moves in

Honey will soon be made at WSU’s Honey Bee & Pollinator Research, Extension, and Education Facility in Othello after a large equipment move.

Tribal connection inspires efforts to save salmon

Studying toxic runoff to help save iconic salmon species, Stephanie Blair draws on science as well as the knowledge and connections of her Native American community.

Insider will return Nov. 29

WSU Insider is taking a break to join with the rest of the university community in celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. We’ll be back the morning of Nov. 29 with fresh posts for the WSU community.

Scouting for a forgotten few

WSU historian Ryan Booth sheds light on the largely forgotten history of the Northern Cheyenne and White Mountain Apache who served as scouts for the U.S. Army from 1866–1947.

Find More News

Subscribe for more updates