Amy L. Lerner is an associate professor of biomedical engineering and the academic director of the Center for Medical Technology & Innovation. Her background includes undergraduate degrees in engineering and design as well as four years as a design engineer for the Shuttle Space Suit program, before receiving her PhD and post-doctoral training at the University of Michigan. As the first hire for the University of Rochester’s programs in biomedical engineering, she has been involved in programmatic and curricular developments in both biomechanics and design education. Her research focuses on computational biomechanical modeling based on gait analysis and a variety of medical imaging modalities, including magnetic resonance imaging. Funding from NSF, NIH and industry sponsors have supported her studies to characterized gender and ethnic differences in anatomy, the role of the meniscus in pressure distributions and the effects of obesity on risks for knee osteoarthritis. Current research goals include using design of experiments methods to develop computationally efficient models that might make personalized treatment guidelines possible. Dr. Lerner has provided leadership in design education both nationally through the BME-IDEA and here at Rochester where the senior design program has become a model for the Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. In her role as the founding academic director of the CMTI, she has helped create the curriculum for the new MS in medical technology and innovation and has supervised each of the graduates from the program to date.
The emphasis in our laboratory is on the use of computational modeling to study the biomechanics of the knee. Our interests include studying the role of gender, obesity, ethnicity, activities and meniscal injuries in the development of osteoarthritis. Using models based on medical imaging techniques such as micro-computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging, our goal is to better understand the distribution of forces in the knee joint and how these may be related to risks for the onset or progression of osteoarthritis.