A note from Daniel Benoit:
I have had the amazing opportunity to work with leaders in their fields of knee research such as surgeons Giuliano Cerulli (Italy), Per Renström (Sweden), Ejnar Eriksson (Sweden) and biomechanists such as Jim Dowling, Mario Lamontagne, and Tom Buchanan (USA)…and these are just the “team leaders” so to speak. My Ph.D. work with Dan Ramsey also led to some unique studies, but this summer has marked one of the most exciting times of my research career.
As any new Prof knows, it takes time to build your identity as a scientist, to create your own niche, so to speak. I feel that this summer, it is taking place.
Our approach of combining in vivo research in our Human Movement Biomechanics Lab and applying those findings to see what is happening “inside” the knee joint is now a reality. The weight-bearing target matching task we developed is giving us new insight into how muscles stabilise the knee during weight-bearing in healthy individuals. We are now looking at how this changes with age and osteoarthritis. With the help of Dr. Geoff Dervin’s team the next step of looking at what these muscles do to the tissues inside the joint has also started bearing fruit: recent data confirms that we can measure the muscle activation of an individual and see just how their muscles contribute to cartilage loads.
The students and staff of the lab over the past four years have done a great job and I have no doubt that through their hard work we will continue to improve our understanding of the knee. Our goal remains to develop innovative strategies to reduce knee injuries and slow the progression of knee joint osteoarthritis…I feel we are right on track.