The focus of research and intervention in the Legs + Walking Lab is on trunk and pelvis stability, positioning and control of the hips, knees and ankles, as well as stepping and propulsion. The pursuit of new therapies may include the application of technology, biological materials and pharmacological and other therapies specific to neural action — which together promise the most exciting and hopeful advances available to enhance locomotion, gait and walking.
The Legs + Walking Lab is designed for patients and research subjects who would benefit from a stimulating and robust environment in pursuit of complex skills. This Lab will provide care and research for patients with diagnoses affecting lower-body function resulting from brain injury, spinal cord injury and diseases of the nerves, muscles and bones. Researchers and clinicians will focus on the advancement of trunk, pelvic and leg function, movement, coordination, strength and balance.
The Scientific Chair of the Legs + Walking Lab provides leadership to the scientific teams establishing the road map to realize SRAlab’s Vision. His/her objectives are to facilitate clinically meaningful research and apply state-of-the-art scientific principles that improve patient function, specifically in the areas of locomotion, gait and walking. The Scientific Chair establishes research themes, provides guidance and technical expertise in collaboration with the Clinical Chairs of all Innovation Centers. The Scientific Chair is expected to create synergy among investigators and clinicians in the Legs + Walking Lab that will speed discovery and ensure clinical adoption of discoveries.
The Scientific Chair is expected to have current knowledge of all state-of-the-art research methods and approaches that are relevant to the Legs + Walking Lab. Investigational and experimental approaches explored should include experimental electromyography, movement analysis, kinetic analysis, biomechanics, sensor technologies, brain and/or other imaging, brain physiology, musculoskeletal physiology, experimental biologics, experimental pharmacotherapeutics, and emerging technologies and use of smart devices.
Develops strong research vision encompassing innovative approach to solving problems for patients with loss of function in the lower body; must also be able to articulate and communicate the vision broadly. Vision must be consistent with and complementary to SRAlab’s Vision, which includes the integration of science/research, where possible, within the clinical milieu.
Provides leadership to Legs + Walking Lab, accountable for overall success and effectiveness of entire Lab (as well as for his/her own research pursuits)
Recruits and directs productive research, focused on patient problems associated with Legs + Walking Lab. This responsibility includes recruiting and overseeing success of other principal investigators and their labs in the work of applied research (includes influencing and overseeing growth of federal grant funding).
Partners with Clinical Chairs to ensure that clinicians are intimately involved in defining patient needs, which will drive scientific research
Provides scientific guidance and experimental advice related to locomotion, gait and walking in medical conditions resulting in loss of lower-body function (e.g., brain injury, spinal cord injury and diseases of the nerves, muscles and bones)
Oversees research of principal investigators focused on lower-extremity functions such as walking, running, standing, sitting and balance
Partners with Clinical Chairs (of Innovation Centers) through close collaboration in order to:
Establish research priorities
Ensure that scientifically validated innovations, including treatments and devices, are quickly adopted into clinical practice
Ensure that appropriate instruments and methods are in place to measure lower-body functions such as locomotion, gait and walking
Ensure that clinical innovation and practice are supported and informed by appropriate research methodology
Ensure that activities of the Lab are driving real, validated improvements in patient outcomes
Remains abreast of state-of-the-art research methods used around the world in areas relevant to Legs + Walking Lab
Serves as member of the Ability Index/Outcomes “swat initiative” team responsible for driving the process, metrics, analysis and reporting; owns influence over the Ability Index domains that reflect leg function and locomotion
Creates synergy among investigators in Legs + Walking Lab to maximize research productivity and quality
Actively participates in key research committees throughout hospital, chairing when appropriate
Liaises with all other Scientific Chairs to guarantee synergy and best practices throughout hospital
Recruits, hires, mentors and develops highly qualified staff with expertise in lower-body function, and who are capable of guiding research consistent with SRAlab’s Vision
Provides scientific leadership to SRAlab investigators in Legs + Walking Lab; mentors young researchers and integrates them into ongoing research being performed by more senior investigators
Provides operational leadership to maximize appropriate use of Lab scientific equipment and personnel
Tracks research productivity (grants, publications, laboratory space) of all SRAlab investigators in Legs + Walking Lab; provides monthly research productivity reports to Chief Scientific Officer
Develops and tracks annual and long-range research budget for Legs + Walking Lab, including all relevant grant funds, endowments and philanthropic accounts
Implements leadership strategy cultivating collaborative, professional, creative work environment to stimulate inquiry, scientific method and continuous quality improvement
Advances SRAlab’s academic mission by creating exciting teaching environment, maintaining strong relationships with appropriate local, national and international academic institutions and professional organizations
Reports directly to Chief Scientific Officer, with dotted-line/matrix reporting to Chief Medical Officer
Responsible for researchers within Legs + Walking Lab
Active member of the “Ability Index Steering Council” (name TBD)
Active member of “Clinical Research Integration Council” (name TBD) led by Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer
Professional and Interpersonal Characteristics
Established scientific leader in field relevant to Legs + Walking Lab; proven thought leader in field
University faculty appointment of Associate Professor or higher
Outstanding interpersonal skills, including proven ability to communicate effectively with scientists and clinicians working in fast-paced, fluid environment
Proven ability to recruit senior scientific leaders to bring their novel work/join the momentum in Legs + Walking Lab, and to support their integration and success
Proven ability to mentor both junior and senior scientists
Ability to think creatively in applying scientific principles to measurement of human lower body, especially with respect to clinical problems
Affinity for and/or experience with human-subject research
Comfortable operating in clinical environment, including demonstrated professionalism, environment-specific vocabulary and patient management
Demonstrated leadership in medical research programs that include both basic scientists and physicians
Willingness and ability to fulfill SRAlab Vision of fully integrating scientific and medical disciplines
Current knowledge of all state-of-the-art research methods and approaches relevant to Legs + Walking Lab
Doctoral degree in relevant field, e.g., physiology, biomechanics, motor control, exercise physiology, biomedical engineering, neural engineering or others
University faculty appointment of Associate Professor or higher
Outstanding communication skills, both verbal and written
Minimum of ten years’ experience running and growing a large research lab or research group
Proven ability to develop and lead a large, complex, multi-dimensional team that is quality- and outcome-oriented, patient-care-service driven
Proven success competing for federal grants, such as VA, DOD, NIH and NIDRR agencies; funding level of approximately $1M/year
Substantial publication, demonstrating leadership in field, establishing credibility and engendering confidence in junior and senior scientists; publication threshold of approximately 100 research reports
Publication in relevant basic science and clinical journals such as Journal of Biomechanics, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, Journal of Gait and Posture, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Journal of Neurophysiology and Journal of Physiology (London)
Proven ability in translational research, providing specific examples of basic science applied to addressing clinical problems
Experience with and knowledge of fundraising; demonstrated experience in donor cultivation activities
The start date is negotiable and the position will remain open until filled.
This position involves employment at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and a faculty appointment at NU. The initial application is done on-line with Northwestern University, but will also be reviewed by staff at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. To learn more about Shirley Ryan AbilityLab and submit a CV, go to www.sralab.org.
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Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 34379
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.