Faculty Spotlight: Dr. John McDaniel
John McDaniel, Ph.D., School of Health Sciences, in collaboration with the Cleveland VA Hospital, was awarded the Craig H. Nielson Foundation’s Creating Opportunity & Independence grant.Their groundbreaking research expands on the use of specialty bicycles for rehabilitation and improve quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injuries.
The Craig H. Nielson Foundation, established in 2002, is the largest funder of spinal cord injury research, rehabilitation, clinical training, and program support. The foundation awarded faculty member Dr. John McDaniel the Creating Opportunity & Independence Grant that supports programs and services to assist individuals with spinal cord injuries to improve quality of life.
Dr. McDaniel will disseminate Catrike recumbent bicycles modified by the Cleveland VA Medical Center to locations at Kent State University, Buckeye Wellness Center, and Craig Hospital in Colorado. The modified bicycle system delivers electrical pulses to individual muscles that allow individuals with lower limb paralysis to pedal the bike. Initially the bicycle will serve as a form of exercise/therapy for this population. However, improved muscle strength and fatigue resistance obtained through exercise training will allow these individuals with spinal cord injuries to ride these bikes outdoors within their neighborhoods and communities. This increased in physical activity will also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease that is highly prevalent in this population.
Successful implementation of the project will help guarantee success at other universities and rehabilitation centers as well as personal home use ultimately improving the quality of life for those with spinal cord injuries.