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Biomechanics Ph.D. Candidate Aubrey Gray has been honored with the Dissertation Completion Fellowship award from the Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill for the 2024-2025 academic year!

Aubrey’s research in BME’s Applied Biomechanics Laboratory explores the ways in which older adults utilize their feet and ankles differently than their younger adult counterparts during functional activities such as walking. Aubrey’s dissertation contends that this difference could be a key factor contributing not only to mobility decline but also to greater fall risk in our rapidly aging population. Aubrey’s dissertation work seeks to improve our understanding of age-related differences in the neuromechanical interactions between the foot and ankle and of how altering mechanical leverage in the aging foot affects older adults’ vulnerability to walking balance perturbations.

This fellowship, including a stipend in tuition support for her entire final year, will support her work to (1) provide pivotal insight into a very specific and innovative structural and biomechanical feature of elderly gait as a mechanism for age-related balance impairment while (2) providing an evidence-based roadmap for affordable insoles to improve balance with broad clinical and societal impact.

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