BME King Yang seminar series: The spine phenome project

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April 20, 2023
1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Biomedical Engineering #2220
818 W. Hancock
Detroit, MI 48201
Microsoft Teams Go to virtual location
Event category: Seminar


Dr. William Marras, Professor, Ohio State University


Low back Disorders (LBD) continue to represent the most disabling health condition known to mankind with direct treatment costs exceeding $100 billion annually. Factors associated with LBDs have been recognized as biopsychosocial in nature, yet our understanding of how these factors functionally interact within the casual pathways has not been established. We have developed a cloud-based platform that is collecting prospective kinematic profiles, biomechanical features, imaging, patient reported outcomes, and electronic health records from patients at 12 academic medical centers and 12 military facilities throughout the United States. AI/ML is employed to assess the patterns among these measures and then person specific biomechanical models are used to understand the biomechanical significance of these measures. Ultimately, our goal is to phenotype LBD patients in order to prevent and optimally direct clinical care though a personalized medicine approach.


William S. Marras is the Distinguished University Professor and holds the Honda Endowed Chair in Integrated Systems Engineering at the Ohio State University. He serves as the Director of the Spine Research Institute at the Ohio State University where he leads NIH, NSF, DoD and privately funded research efforts. Dr. Marras also holds joint academic appointments in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, the Department of Neurosurgery, and the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. His research is focused on understanding multidimensional causal pathways for spine disorders through quantitative epidemiologic evaluations, laboratory biomechanical studies, personalized mathematical modeling, and clinical studies of the lumbar and cervical spines. His findings have been published in over 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, hundreds of refereed proceedings, and numerous books and book chapters including a book entitled The Working Back: A Systems View. Professor Marras has been active in the National Research Council (NRC) having served on over a dozen boards and committees and has served as Chair of the Board on Human Systems Integration for multiple terms. He has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Human Factors is currently Deputy Editor of Spine and has served as the President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Dr. Marras holds Fellow status in six professional societies and is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering (the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine), recorded a TEDx talk entitled “Back Pain and your Brain” and has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

April 2023