Lab Staff Illustration

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Meet the people who have contributed to the research and work of the Translational Musculoskeletal Research (TMR) Laboratory.

Principal Investigator

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As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Jayabalan aims to find innovative solutions to clinical problems in the research lab. His research uses biomarker analyses (from urine and/or blood) to develop efficacious exercise regimens for people with musculoskeletal injury or disease. This fits into the future concept of individualized and personalized medicine, using individuals' biological profiles to find an appropriate exercise program for them.

Laboratory Staff

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Vikram is a biomedical research engineer within the Translational Musculoskeletal Research (TMR) Laboratory at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Under the guidance of Principal Investigator Prakash Jayabalan, MD, PhD, Vikram focuses on advances in technology and medicine.

  • Education: Bachelor of Engineering, University of Mumbai (1999 – 2003); Master of Science, Louisiana Tech University (2003 – 2005)
  • Research Interests: Tendon Transfer Surgeries, Wrist Osteoarthiritis, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke Rehabilitation, Prosthesis

 

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After graduating from the University of Michigan in May 2021, Rose excitedly joined Dr. Prakash Jayabalan, MD, PhD, in the Translational Musculoskeletal Research lab as a clinical research assistant. Her primary focus at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is an investigation into the effectiveness of an AI-enabled Digital Knee care platform for the rehabilitation of medial-compartment knee osteoarthritis. She is also involved in several studies that use biomarker analysis (of synovial fluid and blood) to better understand the knee’s biological response to various stressors. Before joining Dr. Jayabalan, Rose worked in the University of Michigan Orthopedic Research Laboratories, where she studied the effects of ischemic therapy and sex-related differences in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Michigan (2017 – 2021)

 

Fellows

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Matt Sherrier, MD - more information to come

Dayna Yorks, MD - more information to come

Resident Physicians

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Elizabeth Brown, MD - Resident Physician (She/Her)
Libbey is from Baltimore, MD. She attended Dartmouth College where she majored in environmental studies and minored in education. After graduating college she joined the Peace Corps in Ethiopia (2010-2012) where she worked on environmental education in her community. When she returned to the states, she completed a post-baccalaureate program at New York University. She then completed medical school at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and completed her intern year at Lenox Hill Hospital before moving to Chicago for PM&R residency. She is currently working on a project looking into the perceptions of exercise in patients with spinal cord injury during acute inpatient rehabilitation.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College (2006 – 2010); Post-Bacvalaureate, New York University (2013 – 2015); Doctor of Medicine, Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine (2015 - 2019)
  • Research Interests: Sports Medicine, Adaptive Sports, Women's Health Rehabilitation, Health Equity and Advocacy

Prabhav Deo, MD – Resident Physician (He/His)
Prabhav Deo is a physical medicine and rehabilitation resident physician at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. He is interested in interventional approaches to spine care, and is particularly interested in the role of socioeconomic and demographic factors on patient reported outcomes after musculoskeletal interventions.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, Johns Hopkins University (2009 – 2013); Doctor of Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School (2014 – 2018)
  • Research Interests: Spine care, musculoskeletal medicine, medical education

Sean Dreyer, MD – Resident Physician (He/His)
Sean Dreyer, MD, is a resident in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. His areas of interest are spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, COVID-19 and rehabilitation and socioeconomic factors related to human health and function. He will be completing a Fellowship in Spinal Cord Injury at Stanford, upon completion of Residency.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, UC Berkeley (2008 – 2012); Doctor of Medicine, UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine (2013 – 2018)
  • Research Interests: Spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, COVID-19 rehabilitation outcomes

Julia Fram - more information to come

Stanley Guillaume, MD, MPH – Resident Physician (He/His)
Stanley is a first-generation immigrant son of two Haitian parents raised in Atlanta, GA. He initially studied engineering in college but eventually pursued medicine after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake and its effect on his family. He also lived in Barcelona, Spain in 2012 doing international affairs research. His research interests include musculoskeletal clinical research as well as injury prevention, surveillance, and policy. He loves soccer (FC Barcelona!), and is competitive against Dr. Jayabalan’s team, Chelsea.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology (2009 -2013); Doctor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2013 – 2018); Master’s of Public Health, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (2016 – 2017)
  • Research Interests: Injury Policy and Prevention, Global Health, Concussion, Physical Activity

Eleasa Hulon, MD Resident Physician (She/Hers)
Eleasa Hulon, MD, is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation resident at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Her areas of interest are chronic pain and interventional and therapeutic approaches to treating back pain. She will be completing a Pain Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, upon completion of Residency.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Greenville

Christopher Lewis, MD – Resident Physician (He/His)
Chris Lewis, MD, is a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation resident at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. His medical focus is on the fields of cancer rehabilitation and post-COVID rehabilitation in the domain of clinical informatics and rehabilitation science.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Washington (2009 – 2014); Doctor of Medicine, University of Washington (2015 – 2019); Residency, Northwestern University/Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (2019)
  • Research Interests: Bioinformatics, Cancer rehabilitation, Post-COVID rehabilitation

Brock Mullenback - more information to come

Michael Lu, MD – Resident Physician (He/His)
Michael is currently a resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. His research interests include improving access to musculoskeletal care, sports medicine, adaptive sports and musculoskeletal ultrasound. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor of science in finance. He attended medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed his internship at MedStar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Next year, he will be completing his Sports Medicine Fellowship.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Maryland (2009 – 2013); Doctor of Medicine, University of Maryland (2014 – 2018)
  • Research Interests: Improving access to musculoskeletal care, sports medicine, adaptive sports, musculoskeletal ultrasound

Kevin Ozment, MD Resident Physician (He/His)
Kevin is a current PGY4 resident physician in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Northwestern University McGaw Medical Center and Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Growing up with an uncle who suffered a cervical spinal cord injury in combination for his love of sports and anatomy, propelled him to pursue a career in PM&R. His medical interests include treating musculoskeletal conditions in all ages, use of diagnostic and interventional US, interventional spine, and care of the adaptive athlete. His current main research is focused on quality of life in adaptive sports. He will be completing a fellowship in Sports Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York upon completion of residency.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, Texas A&M University (2009-2013); Doctor of Medicine, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio (2014-2018)
  • Research Interests: Sports medicine, MSK ultrasound, adaptive sports, medical education

Cara Vernacchia, DO – Resident Physician (She/Her)
Cara was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California, and attended Dartmouth College for her undergraduate degree, where she was a member of the track and field team and majored in Neuroscience. She then went on to obtain a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. After attending medical school at Touro University, she is now a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation resident at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. She is hoping to pursue a pediatric PM&R fellowship. Her research interests include pediatric pain and musculoskeletal issues.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, Dartmouth College (2009 – 2013); Master of Science, Regis University (2013 – 2014); Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Touro University (2015 – 2019)
  • Research Interests: Pediatric pain, pediatric musculoskeletal medicine, ACL

Meghan Urban, MD – Resident Physician (She/Her)
Meghan Urban, MD, is a resident physician interested in keeping all patient populations as active as possible. A native of New Jersey, Dr. Urban studied Biology and Religion and played division I women’s soccer at Seton Hall University. She completed medical school at Drexel University and an internship in internal medicine at Lankenau Medical Center. She completed a research internship in women’s health, reproductive medicine. She is currently involved in studying the nutritional status of adaptive athletes, correlation between menstrual cycle and wellness in the elite female athletes, and musculoskeletal pain in patients with upper-limb amputations.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, Seton Hall University (2010 – 2014); Doctor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine (2014 – 2018)
  • Research Interest: Women's Sports Medicine, Running Medicine, Nutrition and Performance, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, Strength Training for Injury Prevention

Medical Students

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Evan Edwards, MME – Medical Student (He/His)
Evan R. Edwards (BM, Vocal Performance; MME Vocal Pedagogy) is a voice teacher, performer and singing voice specialist from the Kansas City area pursuing his MD at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As a voice teacher, he has worked with a variety of ages and ability levels and focuses on the rehabilitation of injured singers. An active researcher and presenter, Evan has presented his research at the Voice Foundation's Care of the Professional Voice Symposium, NAfME's National Music Education Conference, Performing Arts Medicine Association Symposium and AAP's Physiatry Conference. Evan’s research interests include analyzing barriers to music therapy uptake, the effect of wearing neckties on male choral and solo singing, and noise dosages and noise-induced hearing loss of pep band members.

  • Education: Bachelor of Music, University of Central Missouri (2011-2015); Master of Music Education, University of Kansas (2015 – 2017); Doctor of Medicine, Northwestern University (2020 – 2024)
  • Research Interests: Barriers to music therapy uptake, barriers to care of performing artists, effects of necktie use in singers, noise-induced hearing loss in pep band musicians

Chad Hanaoka – Medical Student (He/His)
Chad Hanaoka is a medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is passionate about pediatric patient care and interested in clinically translatable research centered on improving diagnostic and management strategies for common sports medicine injuries and degenerative musculoskeletal disorders. He participated in the 2022 Rehabilitation Research Experience for Medical Students (RREMS) through the Association of Academic Physiatrists (AAP) and was awarded the Translational Pediatric Rehabilitation Research Grant from the Shirley Ryan Abilitylab for his work. He has published articles in the Journal of Knee Surgery, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Journal of Orthopaedics.

  • Education: Doctor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2020 -2024)
  • Research Interests: Pediatrics, Sports Medicine, Osteoarthritis, Biomarkers

Zander Neuville – Research Assistant (He/His)
Zander grew up in Waupaca, WI, a rural community in the northeastern part of the state. In high school he was a three-sport athlete, playing football, basketball and baseball. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for his undergraduate degree where he competed as a student-athlete on the football team from 2014-2019. He obtained a bachelor of arts in biology in December 2018 and completed a master of science degree in educational Leadership  and policy analysis in August 2020. He is currently a full-time medical student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine with an interest in orthopedic surgery.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014 – 2018); Master of Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2019 -2020); Doctor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2020 – 2024)
  • Research Interests: ACL Reconstruction, articular cartilage and meniscal injury, return to sport

Laboratory Alumni

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Rachel Bergman – Medical Student (She/Her)
Rachel joined the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab research team in 2016, when she spent a year prior to medical school working with Dr. Prakash Jayabalan in the Translational Musculoskeletal Research Lab. She worked on various clinical and translational research projects focused on understanding the biological profile of individuals with knee osteoarthritis. Rachel was accepted and began medical school at the University of Michigan in fall 2017, where she has continued research focused on knee osteoarthritis and other musculoskeletal pathology. She is currently in her 4th year of medical school and applying for residency in orthopaedic surgery. 

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts, Northwestern University (2012 - 2016); Doctor of Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School (2017 – 2022)
  • Research Interests: Knee osteoarthritis, post-traumatic osteoarthritis, joint biomechanics

George “Ross” Malik, MD - Sports Medicine Fellow at Hospital for Special Surgery (He/His)
George “Ross” Malik, MD, is a Sports Medicine Fellow at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, New York where he is the sports coverage Chief Fellow. He previously trained at the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) where he was a Chief Resident from 2020-2021. His interests involve diagnostic/interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound, fluoroscopic procedures of the axial and peripheral skeleton, peripheral nerve injuries, orthobiologics and running medicine. He has provided medical coverage for the Houston, Chicago and New York City marathons. Additionally, he has covered the New York Red Bulls Football Club, Long Island Nets, Saint Peters University basketball and soccer for both the men’s and women’s teams.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, University of Texas at Austin (2007 – 2012); Doctor of Medicine, Baylor College (2013 – 2017); Medical Residency, Northwestern University (2018 – 2021)
  • Research Interests: Global health, underserved populations, musculoskeletal ultrasound, injury prevention, knee osteoarthritis

Jackie Spanenberg - Medical Student (She/Her)
Jackie is a medical student at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in New Orleans, LA, where she was born and raised. After attending Sewanee: The University of the South, Jackie became interested in adaptive sports medicine as well as cancer rehabilitation while working as a research assistant at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Jackie’s passion for PM&R has persisted throughout her years in medical school as she has participated in the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Externship and the AAP Medical Student Virtual PM&R Experience in 2020. She is currently the Mentorship Representative on the AAP Medical Student Council, and looks forward to pursuing a career in PM&R.

  • Education: Bachelor of Science, Sewanee: The University of the South (2014 – 2018); Doctor of Medicine, Louisiana State University School of Medicine (2019 – )