Trio Recognized at Navy-Sponsored Symposium
A trio of East Carolina University researchers took home awards for their work at the eighth annual Naval Medical Center Camp Lejune’s Research Symposium.
Stacey Meardon, Caitlin O’Connell and John Wilson represented ECU at the event, placing in the top three of their respective categories.
Meardon, an assistant professor in the department of physical therapy, placed first overall in the symposium’s clinical investigation poster competition. The department of kinesiology’s postdoctoral scholar O’Connell placed second in podium presentation with her presentation “Detecting Sandbagging on Baseline Balance Tests.” Wilson, also an associate professor in the department of physical therapy, placed third in podium presentation with his presentation “Training Modifications to Reduce Knee Joint Load Following ACL Reconstruction.”
Meardon’s first-place winning poster “Sex Differences in Tibia Stress During Unloaded Running: An Examination of Bone Strength and Applied Forces” examined the differences in lower leg bone stress between males and females during unloaded running. Meardon found that females have lower bone strength relative to males, however, forces at the lower leg were not proportionately reduced. Small bone size relative to load or weight increases bone stress and may contribute to the high incidence of bone stress injury in female military personnel. These findings help identify pathways for prevention and intervention for bone stress injury – a condition that commonly plagues female service members more than their male counterparts and leads to reduced performance and high likelihood of discharge.
Meardon said she was pleased to see her team’s work so well received.
“The Naval research symposium provided a nice opportunity to translate our work to potential clinical applications for our service members,” Meardon said. “It was very exciting to have this project be so well received by specialists in military medicine. I am optimistic that our work will lead to further efficacy and effectiveness studies.”
ECU Brody School of Medicine teaching assistant professor Sheena Egan served as a judge for poster and oral presentations at the event.
The Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune seeks to recognize the accomplishments of researchers advancing Naval medicine and care through the symposium. The event offers research project presentations, medical collaborations and case studies through oral and poster presentations.
The event was headlined by keynote speaker retired Army Col. Geoffrey Ling. Ling currently serves as a professor of neurology at John Hopkins University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. His research work is focused in the fields of neurology, neuroscience, traumatic brain injuries, critical care medicine and military medicine.