Dr. Jacob George Awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

Dr. Jacob George and his Utah Neurorobotics Lab was recently awarded the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. Thank you to all the fabulous undergraduate researchers in our group whose collective achievements made this award possible. We’ve had 42 undergrad fellows in the lab, who have collectively achieved 31 co-authored abstracts, 21 first-author abstracts, 18 co-authored manuscripts, 5 first-author manuscripts, and 57 competitive research fellowships, totaling $385,299.

A special thanks also to all of the graduate student mentors, who provide the critical day-to-day mentorship and training for our undergrads; this award really wouldn’t be possible without them. It’s great to see our lab working together to create a pipeline from K-12 outreach, to high school interns, undergraduate researchers, and graduate students. Thank you all for your many contributions to our research and team.

Abby Citterman Receives Several Awards at 50th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium

Abby Citterman, a member of the NeuroRobotics Lab since 2020, a recent graduate of Biomedical Engineering at the U, and a graduate student at Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center, attended the 50th Academy Annual Meeting & Scientific Symposium last week with the American Academy of Orthotists & Prosthetists. There, she was awarded the Women in O&P Research Award, sponsored by Össur, along with a $1,500 honorarium, for her research titled Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation at the Wrist as a Method to Restore Sensory Feedback for Individuals with Partial Hand Amputation. Abby was also awarded first place in the poster competition for her capstone research project at Northwestern University, titled Do Clinical Assessments of Upper-Limb Prosthesis Users Sufficiently Capture All Dimensions of Anatomical Hand Function?

Congratulations Abby for these prestigious awards!

Abby Citterman is awarded the ABC O&P Scholarship

Abby Citterman, a dedicated member of the NeuroRobotics Lab since 2020, a recent graduate of biomedical engineering at the U, and a graduate student at Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center, has been awarded the prestigious ABC O&P Scholarship, a $10,000 scholarship granted by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC) and the Orthotics & Prosthetics Foundation for Education and Research (OPERF).

The ABC O&P Scholarship is awarded annually to exemplary students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievements, leadership potential, and a commitment to advancing the field of orthotics and prosthetics. This esteemed scholarship aims to support the education and professional development of promising individuals in O&P.

Abby has embodied these characteristics and more through her work in the Utah NeuroRobotics Lab, leading numerous projects, mentoring several new undergraduate and high school students, and receiving recognition for her research at national and international conferences. As we look towards the future, we are confident that Abby’s contributions will continue to shape the field and inspire others in the pursuit of groundbreaking advancements in healthcare technology. Congratulations, Abby, on this well-deserved recognition, and may your journey be filled with continued success and impact!

For more information about the 2024 ABC O&P Scholarship, please visit www.oandpfoundation.org.

Abby Citterman wins American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association’s Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award

Congrats to Abby Citterman for being honored with the best prosthetic abstract at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly! Her poster is titled Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation at the Wrist as a Method to Restore Sensory Feedback for Individuals with Partial Hand Amputation. Sensory feedback is critical for dexterous hand function, but current methods are cumbersome, inhibiting the natural use of the residual hand or prosthesis. TENS at the wrist may constitute a functional solution for evoking distally referred sensations on the phantom digits and restoring intuitive, non-restrictive sensory feedback for individuals with partial hand amputation.

The Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award and the Otto and Lucille Becker Award were founded in 2012, made possible by a special endowment by Becker Orthopedic and WillowWood. These awards honor two meritorious scientific papers submitted for presentation as a poster at the AOPA National Assembly, to encourage students and residents to display outstanding posters.

The Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award is awarded annually for the best prosthetic abstract submitted by a qualifying student or resident. The main author of each presentation must be a student (baccalaureate or master level), or a resident at a qualified patient care facility. This prestigious honor also comes with $500 cash, free travel and lodging, and complimentary registration for the 2023 American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly in Indianapolis, Indiana. Congratulations to Abby on this award!

Dr. George Wins ECE Rising Star Award

Dr. George was recently awarded the Rising Star Award from the University of Utah Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. This is a rare and prestigious award only given out every few years. The award recognizes up and coming faculty who are excelling in research, teaching, and service. Since joining the department, Dr. George has raised nearly $4 million in research funding, earned a spot among the top 15% course instructors in the College of Engineering, and established four new programs/partnerships in the ECE department (Robotics, MD-PhD, Neuroscience, and NeuroEngineering).

In response to receiving this award, Dr. George thanked his mentors for their continued support as well as his excellent students who have made his research and courses so successful.

MEC 2022 Student Podium Presentation Competition award winners: Connor Olsen (Left) First Place, and Monika Buczak (right) second place, with their professor Jacob A. George in the center

MEC Student Presentation Award Winners: Monika Buczak and Connor Olsen


Congratulations to Monika Buczak and Connor Olsen for their recent awards at the Myoelectric Controls Symposium (MEC) held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The conference occurs every three years, and part of the conference includes the Student Podium Presentation Competition. This year, our lab walked away with both first and second place! Monika Buczak was awarded 2nd place for her presentation, Disentangling Sensory and Motor Deficits of Fine Hand Function Using An Electronic Grip Gauge (EGG) to Simulate Transferring Fragile Objects. Connor Olsen was awarded 1st place for his presentation, An Inexpensive and Adaptable Prosthetic Wrist Improves Dexterity and Reduces Compensatory Movements.

Our lab was well represented at MEC22, and we are immensely proud of all the presentations given. Find the conference proceedings here.

Dr. George featured in “Neuroscience Faculty Spotlight”

Dr. George was recently featured the "Neuroscience Faculty Spotlight" for his lab's interdisciplinary neuroscience research at the University of Utah. The Neuroscience Initiative at University of Utah Health represents a commitment, by the University of Utah and the Senior Vice President for Health Sciences office, to unify basic, translational, and clinical research efforts towards a better understanding of the brain in disease and health. This vision is currently being accomplished by linking clinicians, scientists, and the broader neuroscience community at University of Utah Health. Our neuroscience research community, ranging from neurologists to imaging specialist to molecular biologists (>150 investigators) spans across 7 colleges and schools, 15 centers and institutes, and more than 32 departments. Dr. George was recently featured as a key faculty member of the Neuroscience Initiative. Check out the article to learn more about Dr. George's background and ongoing neuroscience research!


Dr. George featured in TED-style talk to U-Health donors

In 2019, Dr. George and fellow researchers at the U made waves with the "LUKE Arm" (named after the robotic hand given to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back), a prosthetic arm that has the ability to feel objects by transmitting the appropriate signals to the brain. Not only can the arm feel, but it can be controlled by the user's thoughts. In this 2021 TED-style talk, Dr. George talks about the advances that have taken place since the their breakthrough was first announced.

Dr. George Featured in Forbes 30 Under 30

Dr. Jacob A. George, director of the Utah NeuroRobotics Lab, was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the Science category for 2022. For 10 years, the finance magazine has named 30 young innovators, entertainers and others each in a variety of categories from art and design to games, media and sports. These are considered by the editors to be the ones to watch out for in their respective fields. Past honorees have included Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, singer and entrepreneur Rihanna, and the co-founders of such companies as Instagram, Dropbox and Pinterest. Click here to see the list of the 2022 honorees in the Science category.