José Pons, PhD

Scientific Chair, Legs + Walking Lab
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About Me

José Pons, PhD, is a world-renowned scientist. At Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, he leads a translational research team to apply the most advanced methods for measuring — and restoring — lower-limb function in diverse patient populations.

Dr. Pons is a creative engineer with a longstanding history of collaboration with physicians in physical medicine and rehabilitation. He has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and is best known for his work in wearable robotics and neuroprosthetics as applied to patients with spinal cord injury, stroke and Parkinsonism. He has developed methods for studying balance and tremor in patients with Parkinson’s disease; created robotic manipulators and mobility devices for children with cerebral palsy; modified computer cursors for patients with limited mobility; and developed movement sensors for patients who have lost limbs through amputation. His deep knowledge of physics has enabled him to perform fundamental analyses of devices and movement patterns that are generally applicable to any movement disorder.

Dr. Pons serves as associate editor for Frontiers in Neurology; Frontiers in Neuroscience; IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering; and IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering.

He has led several major European research initiatives involving multiple countries, cultures and organizations, and he serves in an expert advisory role for the international science agencies in Argentina, Belgium, Colombia, Czech Republic, Italy, Iceland and Switzerland.

Prior to joining Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in 2019, Dr. Pons built his academic career at the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas or CSIC) in the Cajal Institute, where he was the Director of the Neural Rehabilitation Group within the Department of Translational Science.

Dr. Pons received his BS in mechanical engineering and PhD in physics from Complutense University of Madrid.


Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

355 E Erie St

Chicago, IL 60611

Recent Publications

Compliant lower limb exoskeletons: a comprehensive review on mechanical design principles.
Sanchez-Villamañan MDC, Gonzalez-Vargas J, Torricelli D, Moreno JC, Pons JL
doi: 10.1186/s12984-019-0517-9
A thin-film multichannel electrode for muscle recording and stimulation in neuroprosthetics applications.
Muceli S, Poppendieck W, Hoffmann KP, Dosen S, Benito-León J, Barroso FO, Pons JL, Farina D
doi: 10.1088/1741-2552/ab047a