Patterson receives national award for biomechanics research

By Steven Bartolotta

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Rita M Patterson, PhD

Rita M Patterson, PhD, Professor and Associate Dean of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine has been honored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for her ground-breaking biomechanics research.

Dr. Patterson is the recipient of the 2019 Savio L-Y. Woo Medal, a prestigious national award given by her peers in the ASME.

“It is indeed an honor to be selected for this award that specifically recognizes translating engineering principles used to solve clinically meaningful questions,” Dr. Patterson said.

The research efforts by Dr. Patterson have led to changes in surgical interventions and significantly impacted the treatment of patients with hand and wrist disorders. Dr. Patterson has led a number of research projects at the Human Movement Performance Lab on the campus of UNT Health Science Center.

“Working in collaborative teams is so important to furthering clinical knowledge and increasing the quality of life for all patients,” Dr. Patterson said.

The lab is a collaboration between several departments and schools in Fort Worth that are interested in human performance.

Through video motion capture, virtual reality environments, custom instrumentation and computational modeling, the team has been able to analyze abnormal motions caused by disease processes and evaluate rehabilitation treatments.

Dr. Patterson and her research team have unlocked the answer to key clinical questions that can help make people’s lives better. Dr. Patterson has mentored over 30 medical students on biomechanics. She is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery and the ASME Journal of Medical Devices.

The Savio L-Y. Woo Medal was established in June 2015 and recognizes a sustained level of meritorious contributions in translating bioengineering research to clinical application in order to improve the quality of life.

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