Graci Finco

Published: August 20, 2019

Graci 3

Malaka (Graci) Finco, CPO/LPO, MS

Ph.D. Candidate
Structural Anatomy and Rehabilitation Sciences
Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Fort Worth, TX 76107
LinkedIn: Graci Finco
Twitter: @FincoGraci

Curriculum Vitae

Personal Website



M.S. in Orthotics and Prosthetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston (2016)
B.S. in Biology, University of North Texas, Denton (2014)


Certifications & Licenses

Certified Prosthetist Orthotist- CPO #04086
Texas State Licensed Prosthetist Orthotist- #1997



Dissertation: “Quantifying Musculoskeletal and Gait Symmetry to Identify Fall Risk in Individuals with Unilateral Lower-Limb Loss”
Co-Faculty Mentors: Rita M. Patterson and Rachel A. Menegaz

My research focuses on musculoskeletal and gait asymmetries between prosthetic and intact limbs of individuals who are unilateral lower-limb prosthesis users.  Musculoskeletal and gait asymmetries have been associated with a wide variety of negative secondary health effects in individuals with amputation, such as overuse injuries and falls, and reducing asymmetry is a primary goal of rehabilitation. However, musculoskeletal asymmetries have largely been overlooked, and assessing gait asymmetry is observation-driven for prosthetists and physical therapists.  My dissertation seeks to determine if specific musculoskeletal properties or gait parameters can be measured in clinic and used to predict fall risk. Findings can help prosthetists and physical therapists improve rehabilitation techniques and standard of care for patients.

Current Projects
  • Structural musculoskeletal properties (e.g. bone mineral density, muscle fiber types) of individuals with lower-limb loss using anatomical imaging, dissection, and histology
  • Validation of wearable sensors to motion capture equipment in individuals with lower-limb loss
  • Using wearable sensors to collect biomechanical data in prosthetic clinics
  • Indicators of fall risk in individuals with lower-limb loss


2021 – 2022: American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association
Center for Orthotic & Prosthetic Learning & Outcomes/Evidence-Based Practice
“Wearable Sensors in Prosthetic Practice: Can Walking Symmetry Supplement Clinical Measures to Assess Fall Risk?” 
Principal Investigator: Pilot Grant

2021 – 2022: Renewal of T32 NIH Training Fellowship
Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease

2020 – 2021: T32 NIH Training Fellowship
Neurobiology of Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease



2021:  Finco MG, Menegaz RM. Skeletal Asymmetries in Anatomical Donors with Lower-Limb Amputations. PM&R: The Journal of Injury, Function, and Rehabilitation. Online ahead of print.

in review:  Finco MG, Moudy SC, Patterson RM. Normalization of kinematic walking symmetry data to inform clinical considerations for individuals who use lower-limb prostheses.

in progress: Finco MG & Kim S (co-first authors), Ngo W, Menegaz RM. A review of musculoskeletal adaptations in individuals following major lower-limb amputation.

in progress: Finco MG & Finnerty C (co-first authors), Ngo W, Holley B, Menegaz RM. Musculoskeletal differences between amputated and non-amputated lower-limbs: comparison to diabetic and healthy control groups.

in progress: Finco MG & Kim S (co-first authors), Menegaz RM. Structural and physiological plasticity in thigh musculature of anatomical donors with lower-limb amputation.


Teaching Assistantships

Fall 2021:  Musculoskeletal and Nervous System Anatomy for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical School Program. Upper-limb with dissection (20hrs). Lower-limb with dissection (20hrs). Head and neck with dissection (20hrs). Nervous system with prosection (16hrs).

Summer 2021:  Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Data Management for the Clinical Research Management Master’s Program. (20hrs).

Spring 2021: Musculoskeletal Anatomy for the Medical Science Master’s Program. (40hrs).



2021: Monthly contributor of 10-minute science episodes to Australian radio station (3RRR). Topics are varied (e.g. memory, dinosaurs, artificial intelligence).


Professional Organizations

American Academy of Orthotists and Prosthetists
American Association for Anatomy, American Society of Biomechanics
International Womxn in Biomechanics
American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association