Leadership - Advanced Platform Technology Center
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Ronald Triolo, Ph.D.
Executive Director

Ron TrioloRonald J. Triolo, Ph.D. serves as the Executive Director of the APT Center, a research center in the VA Rehabilitation R&D Service, which is dedicated to developing and applying advances in material science, microfabrication and wireless communication to create new restorative and diagnostic medical technologies in the areas of prosthetics/orthotics, neural interfacing and health monitoring/maintenance for individuals with physical or cognitive disabilities or limb loss. He is a Tenured Full Professor in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and serves as the Director of the Motion Study Laboratory (MSL) at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, which is a state-of-the-art facility for the biomechanical and physiological analysis of human motion and rehabilitation outcomes and assistive technologies for gait, posture, balance, and activities of daily living after neuromuscular dysfunction.

Dr. Triolo has been a researcher in the field of assistive, restorative and rehabilitative technologies for over 25 years. During this time he has conducted Phase II multicenter clinical feasibility trials of implanted neuroprostheses for standing and walking, developed new multicontact peripheral nerve electrodes and exploited their selectivity to delay the onset of fatigue, and pursued original research directed toward providing new and clinically useful options for automatically regulating standing and seated balance, and designed powered exoskeletons for walking and stair climbing after paralysis. These efforts have been funded by the VA, NIH, DoD, DARPA and USFDA.

Dr. Triolo’s experience includes being an investigator and active member of the Executive Steering Committee of the Cleveland FES Center, the Board of Directors of the International FES Society, and a founding board member of “RePlay for Kids” - a non-profit organization dedicated to modifying and repairing toys adapted for children with physical disabilities.

Gilles Pinault, M.D.

Gilles PinaultGilles Pinault, M.D. is responsible for identifying the medical and rehabilitation needs of veterans and communicating them to the investigators and Center leadership. He actively solicits input from peers within the LSCVAMC and CWRU medical communities, as well as the local and national professional consumers of technology. He is specifically charged with maintaining strong and productive linkages with all investigators, clinicians and medical consultants, and medical students. Dr. Pinault is the Medical Director of the Surgical ICU and has over 15 years of full-time service at the LSCVAMC as a vascular surgeon. He has served as Co-Investigator or Investigator on NIH, DoD, and VA grants, as well as numerous industrial-sponsored clinical trials.

Clay Kelly, M.D.
Medical Director
Associate Director of Clinical Affairs

Clay KellyClay Kelly, M.D. has been involved with the APT Center since 2010 and and is responsible for day-to-day clinical operations of the Center. He is the primary liaison between Center investigators and clinical service delivery at the medical center. Currently, he serves as the Chief of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) Service and the Medical Director of Amputee Rehabilitation at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. He has successfully incorporated biomedical researchers into the PM&R clinical service, which has resulted in funded research projects.

Dr. Kelly’s clinical area of work is amputee rehabilitation, where he has directed interdisciplinary amputee clinics for the past 20+ years. His goal is to restore and preserve function in amputees, and collaborating in research initiatives through the APT Center is a natural extension of his work. Currently, he is the Site Principal Investigator for the VETPALs research study in collaboration with the Puget Sound VA.

Dr. Kelly also serves on the APT Center Clinical Advisory Board, and will continue to bring a clinical perspective to the research done here with the goal of enhancing translation of technology to the benefits of our veterans as well as all amputees.

Jonathan Baskin, M.D.
Associate Director for Translation

Dr. Jonathan BaskinJonathan Baskin, M.D. works closely with each Program Manager to review and assess the translational readiness of active projects in each of their Application Areas, and makes recommendations to the Leadership Council for investments of Center resources that may accelerate them along the translational pathway. Dr. Baskin has been the Section Chief of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center since 2008 and is also board certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery as well as Sleep Medicine.

Dr. Baskin has significant experience in both biomaterial development as well as peripheral neuromodulation. Due to his medical and surgical training as well as knowledge of market needs, FDA regulatory structure, and biomedical product development he has become actively involved in building a culture of biotechnology entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio. He relies heavily on this background to serve as the APT Center’s Associate Director for Translation, assisting in executing the Center’s transformative vision--to build technology that alleviates suffering and prolongs life.

Dustin Tyler, Ph.D.
Associate Director of Engineering & Quality

Dr. Dustin TylerDustin Tyler, Ph.D. is responsible for managing the engineering and regulatory operations required to develop devices and technical systems that are compliant with all pertinent regulations for producing prototype and finished medical devices for investigational use. He establishes, implements, monitors and maintains Design Controls and other aspects of the APT Center Quality System. Dr. Tyler coordinates interactions between Center-supported content specialists in Quality Affairs, Regulatory Affairs, and Engineering to set priorities and distribute professional resources among various APT Investigators and Center projects. Dr. Tyler has more than four years of commercial experience in the medical device industry and is an expert in design controls and quality system management. Dr. Tyler holds the appointment of Kent H. Smith II Professor in the Department of Engineering at CWRU. He has been awarded 17 patents and is an expert in neuroscience, neural interfacing, and neural prostheses. Dr. Tyler is the recipient of research awards from the VA Merit Review program as well as the NIH, DoD, DARPA, and other external sponsors.

Margot Damaser, Ph.D. & Christian Zorman, Ph.D.
Associate Directors of Research & Scientific Affairs

Christian Zorman and Margot DamaserMargot Damaser, Ph.D. and Christian Zorman, Ph.D. facilitate research-related interactions with local institutions for Center Investigators due to their leadership positions at the Case School of Engineering (Zorman) and the Cleveland Clinic (Damaser). Based on their local prominence, extensive professional networks and national involvement in professional organizations, they can identify potential new lines of research, assess promising new technologies or rehabilitative techniques, and recruit new investigators into the Center to complement or expand our existing capabilities. Drs. Damaser and Zorman oversee the Garverick Innovation Incentive Program for the Center designed to solicit and assess new ideas for collaborative projects for pilot funding that will ultimately lead to successful independent projects.

Dr. Damaser has an international reputation for her high-quality research aimed at investigating the mechanisms of urinary incontinence. In 2000, Dr. Damaser was awarded a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering for outstanding research on the human urinary bladder using mathematical modeling along with physiological and neurological studies. This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

Dr. Zorman has extensive expertise in the development of enabling materials for micro- and nanosystems.  In 2006 and 2007, Dr. Zorman was a NASA Summer Faculty Fellow and also won the NASAE Group Technical Achievement Award in 2004. In 1989, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award from CWRU. He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Research (School of Engineering) at CWRU.

Kath Bogie, D.Phil.
Health Monitoring & Maintenance Program Manager

Kath Bogie, DPhilKath Bogie, D.Phil. serves as the Program Manager for Health Monitoring and Maintenance. In addition, she oversees the grant submission process, providing for high quality and competitive research submissions. Finally, she represents the concerns of all other APT Investigators to the management team at Leadership meetings. 

Dr. Bogie is a biomedical engineer with a background in translational research in tissue health, wound management and wheelchair seating. Dr. Bogie leads studies to develop health maintenance technologies, including the modular surface stimulation system to systematically evaluate the effects of electrotherapy for treatment of chronic wounds and an advanced modular cushion for cost-effective pressure relief. Dr. Bogie also studies the application of advanced digital imaging for clinically useful monitoring of chronic wounds and is working with the Rural Telehealth program to implement wound monitoring technology in the field.

Jeffrey Capadona, Ph.D.
Neural Interfaces Program Manager

Jeffrey Capadona, PhD Jeffrey Capadona, Ph.D. serves as the Program Manager for Neural Interfaces. In addition, he represents the concerns of all other APT Investigators to the management team at Leadership meetings. 

In 2005, Dr. Capadona completed his Ph.D. thesis studying the effects of surface properties of biomedical implants on the control of cellular response and function at Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Capadona immediately began his career with the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Research Health Scientist.  His research interest is in the neurodegenerative response to implanted biomedical devices. Dr. Capadona has co-authored two patents, two book chapters, 95 scientific abstracts and over 30 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, including one in Science and another that received the cover of Nature Nanotechnology.  His research articles have been cited over 1900 times. Dr. Capadona’s recent awards include: the Case School of Engineering Faculty Research Award, multiple graduate student mentoring awards, and the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).

Paul Marasco, Ph.D.
Prosthetics & Orthotics Program Manager

Paul Marasco, PhDPaul Marasco, Ph.D. serves as the Program Manager for Prosthetics and Orthotics. In addition, he represents the concerns of all other APT Investigators to the management team at Leadership meetings. 

Dr. Marasco earned his Neuroscience PhD from the Vanderbilt Brain Institute of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. There he underwent formal interdisciplinary training in molecular neuroscience and developmental molecular genetics. His independent graduate work focused on studying the sensory neural system of the mole. Dr. Marasco’s post-doctoral work moved to a clinical translational focus. Dr. Marasco studied physiologically relevant sensory integration with prosthetic devices. These investigations included a diverse array of experimental tools such as psychophysics, perceptual mapping, cortical and peripheral neural recording.

Dr. Marasco’s broad-based sensory neuroscience research continues as a principal investigator in the Advanced Platform Technology Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Here he has honed his translational approach using animal models to answer basic science questions and then using them to inform clinical approaches while conversely utilizing human research subjects to provide scientific insight into how the brain functions. Dr. Marasco is currently involved with studies to understand kinesthesia. His work is focused on understanding the mechanistic aspects and brain organizational properties of this poorly understood sense.

Mark Walker, M.D.
Activity-Based Neurorehabilitation Program Manager

Mark Walker, MDMark Walker, M.D., serves as the Program Manager for Activity-Based Neurorehabilitation. In addition, he represents the concerns of all other APT Investigators to the management team at Leadership meetings.

Dr. Walker is a Staff Neurologist and Director of the Daroff-Dell’Osso Ocular Motility Laboratory at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and an Associate Professor of Neurology at Case Western Reserve University. He is also Co-Director of the newly designated National VA Parkinson’s Disease Consortium Center due to his tremendous clinical research and clinical efforts related to Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders. This designation will ensure accessibility and continuity of specialized care for Veterans afflicted by parkinsonism, regardless of locality.

Dr. Walker’s research uses systems neuroscience approaches to investigate how the brain controls eye movements and to understand why vision and balance are impaired in people with neurological disorders such as ataxia, multiple sclerosis, and traumatic brain injury. Current work focuses on the role of the gravity and motion sensing reflexes of the vestibular system in these conditions.

Pedram Mohseni, Ph.D., Joseph Potkay, Ph.D., and Douglas Shire, Ph.D.
Senior Investigator Representatives

Joseph Potkay, Ph.D. and Douglas Shire, Ph.D. are actively funded VA investigators and, with Pedram Mohseni, Ph.D., represent the other APT Investigators to the Leadership Council. Dr. Mohseni has made seminal contributions in the field of integrated circuits and microsystems for neurotechnology, implantable neuroprostheses, and wireless brain-machine interfaces over the past 20 years. Dr. Potkay is a prior CDA recipient who has transitioned to independent researcher specializing in microfabricated and microfluidic medical devices in cardiopulmonary medicine. Dr. Shire is an expert in medical device design microsystems for medical applications, and implanted system development.

Allison Hess-Dunning, Ph.D. and Andrew Shoffstall, Ph.D.
Junior Investigator Representatives

Beginning in 2019, we expanded the Leadership Council to include two temporary representatives of the many new or junior investigators in the Center actively enrolled in mentorship programs. They will represent CDA Level 1 (Shoffstall) and CDA Level 2 (Hess-Dunning) awardees.

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