Victor Santamaria

Postdoctoral Researcher

I received my degree in Physical Therapy in 2007. I obtained my specialization in Pediatric Physical Therapy from the International University of Catalunya (UIC) and my Master degree in Neuroscience from the Institute of Neuroscience of Castilla y Leon (INCYL) at the University of Salamanca (USAL). Additionally, I did further studies in Neurological Pathology in the University Rey Juan Carlos of Madrid (URJC). I worked as a physical therapist in the field of pediatric and adult neurorehabilitation in Spain from 2006 through 2011. Back in Spain, I was the delegate of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Physical Therapy (SEFIP) in Andalucia. I am still an active member of the SEFIP and participate in Spanish conferences and research projects.

I came to the States in 2011 and achieved my PhD under the supervision of Dr. Marjorie Woollacott at the University of Oregon. My field of research focuses on evidence-based motor learning-control training programs and understanding their underlying neuromuscular and biomechanical mechanisms. I presently work as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Dr. Sunil K. Agrawal's Robotic and Rehabilitation (ROAR) lab at Columbia University. We are developing new robotic rehab protocols based on motor learning and control principles in motorized cable-driven systems, such as the Trunk Support Trainer (TruST) and the Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD). In our current studies, we are investigating the potential of this innovative technology to maximize functional recovery of postural and reaching abilities in children and adults diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.