URI engineering professor wins 2008 Delsys Prize

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BOSTON — October 27, 2008 — Helen (He) Huang of the University of Rhode Island was chosen as the winner of the 6th Delsys Prize which includes a Myomonitor┬« IV 16-ch EMG system, a value of $19,900.

The prize was established by Carlo J. De Luca, CEO of Delsys Inc., to recognize innovation in the field of electromyography (EMG), a discipline that studies and makes use of the electrical signal that originates in contracting muscles.

Huang’s proposal titled “Toward Neural Control of Artificial Legs: A New Strategy to Identify Locomotion Modes Using EMG” was chosen from among 50 candidates from all over the world by a committee of five scientific experts from academia and industry.

“I am deeply honored by the recognition,” said Huang, a URI assistant professor of biomedical engineering and a resident of Warwick. “The Delsys Prize is a significant milestone for scientists like me as it inspires us to tackle the most challenging questions concerning the workings of the neuro-muscular system.”

Huang began her career in motor control as a postdoctoral associate under Todd A. Kuiken at the Research Institute of Chicago.

Commenting on Huang’s work, Kuiken said “Helen has developed a novel EMG decoder that has great potential to become an effective neural interface for the next generation of lower limb prostheses. I believe her work has launched an important new area of EMG analysis, with clinical applications that are far reaching.”

“We are delighted to hear that Dr. He (Helen) Huang, a recently hired faculty member in the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Rhode Island, has received the prestigious Delsys Prize,” said the department chair Faye Boudreaux-Bartels. “The Delsys EMG system awarded to Dr. Huang as part of this prize will be used for EMG control of prosthesis, and thus will benefit not only Dr. Huang’s research but that of her Biomedical Engineering graduate students as well.”

Delsys is a small company that designs, manufactures, and markets a variety of products used to detect and measure electrical signals that originate in a muscle when it contracts. Associated products include EKG sensors, accelerometers, foot sensors, goniometers and a range of other biosignal sensors.