FEATURED PILOT GRANT AWARDEE
Clare Fitzpatrick, PhD
Boise State University
Optimizing Surgical Treatment of Crouch Gait on a Patient-Specific Basis
Joining Boise State University in August 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Computational Biosciences Lab, the overall objective of Dr. Fitzpatrick’s work is to directly impact patient quality of life through guiding surgical decisions as well as developing and evaluating implants / surgical techniques which optimize functionality and mobility. Working primarily in the area of computational biomechanics, with a focus on finite element modeling, with applications in orthopaedic biomechanics, and involved extensive collaboration with academic, industry, and clinical partners.
Interview Q & A
- What got you interested in Clinical & Translatonal Research?
- Dr. Fitzpatrick: In 2002-2003, I was a senior level undergraduate student in the University of Dublin who had worked on a project with my advisor and a vet surgeon. We were developing contoured bone fixation plates for dogs with supracondylar fracture in the knee. It was this project where I learned all about Computational Analysis Design while working with stainless steel and simulating design. I developed a design simulation on the computer to see if it could withstand the loads during the dog’s walking around and it was manufactured by the vet surgeon that I worked with, who then implanted it in dogs. This was where my interest started. By 2003-2008, I had received my PhD in the University of Dublin with my thesis being on the “Statistical Analysis of shape of knee joint in humans and its variation by ethnicity / gender changes between whites and Japanese (more kneeling)”. My body of work led me to my post-doctoral program in 2008-2011 at the University of Denver on Travel Grant where I worked in the School of Computer Sciences in the Department of Mechanical / Materials Engineering for 3 months. After becoming a Senior Research Engineer, I then transitoned into Boise State University where I then learned computatonal modeling (Orthopedic / Stats / Mechanical Engineering).
- What has been the impact of the MW CTR-IN on your career& Research Activites?
- Dr. Fitzpatrick: I actually applied for the Pilot Grant before coming to Boise State University and got funded when I started there. With the funding, I was able to increase the Graduate students that I worked with from 2 to 4 as well as increase my lab space. This funding allowed me to immediately start and accelerate my new research program as well as learn about Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) and management of staff (hiring), which was massively useful.
Clare Fitzpatrick, PhD (centered)