The Motor Control Laboratory is located in the Des Moines University Clinic building. The 930 square foot laboratory contains advanced movement analysis equipment as well as ample open space required for movement studies. Our primary research goals are to determine age- and disease-related changes in the motor control of balance and gait and to develop and examine therapeutic interventions to improve gait and balance in older adults and in individuals with stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Motor Control Research Faculty

Current Projects

  • Investigating biomechanical parameters associated with gait & turning behavior to facilitate fall risk evaluation (Dr. Stevermer)
  • Analyzing mobility involving sit-to-stand as a component movement (Dr. Stevermer)
  • Quantifying functional mobility limitations associated with pregnancy (Dr. Stevermer, in collaboration with Dr. Kari Smith, DMU PT Clinic Manager)

Student Involvement

Student involvement is important to the ongoing success of the lab. Research electives provide opportunities for students to directly engage in research and gain skills and confidence in problem-solving, observational movement analysis, and participant interaction. All motor control research faculty also participate in the Mentored Student Research Program. 

Laboratory Equipment

  • GAITRite Platinum 14 ft. instrumented walkway, with an inclinometer, webcam and PKMAS software
  • APDM Mobility Lab System, 6 wireless accelerometers with Mobility Lab software
  • Biodex RTM 600 treadmill
  • NeuroCom Balance Master
  • Camcorders
  • Lafayette dynamometer
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