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Terence Thomas ’18 Researches Gait Rehabilitation

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“I find that research is a nice break from regular classes which are a lot of memorization, taking in a lot of information,” says biology major and aspiring surgeon Terence Thomas ’18.

Terence Thomas ’18

“Research has allowed me to take in information and also apply it – to see the application of science, see how science is turned into experiments where you analyze the research and publish.”

Thomas conducts research under the mentorship of Dr. Erin Vasudevan (Neurobiology & Behavior) in the Rehabilitation Research and Movement Performance/RRAMP Laboratory. He was recently awarded the 2018 American Heart Association (AHA) Founders Affiliate Undergraduate Student Summer Fellowship to support his work on the Gait Propulsion Trainer (GPT), a novel rehabilitation device for people with hemiparesis due to stroke.

This past April, Thomas presented a poster at the annual URECA (Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities) symposium on the preliminary phase of the project which aimed to test proof-of-concept of the GPT in healthy young adults before commencing testing in people with stroke.

As an aspiring orthopedic surgeon, with an academic background and interests in exercise science and kinesiology, he describes  his research as “the perfect opportunity for me. It was something that fit exactly with my personality, fit with what I wanted to do.”

GPT trial
Terence Thomas prepares a participant for a Gait Propulsion Training (GPT) trial.

Thomas transferred to Stony Brook in Spring 2016 from The College of Brockport SUNY, where he was a member of the Basketball Team. He has been working in his current lab for a little over a year, and also has done physician shadowing in summers 2016 and 2017, including collaborating on shoulder tendinitis research with Dr. Lawrence Gulotta and co-authoring the chapter “ Rotator Cuff Pathology” in  Management of Tendinopathy: Non-operative and operative management   (in press, Springer Publishing).

At Stony Brook, Terence has also been involved as Vice President and Public Relations Coordinator of the Stony Brook Pre-Medical Society, is a member of Neuroscience Axis, and volunteers for Fit Kids for Life, a Stony Brook University Medicine and Physical Therapy program that helps promote exercise and a healthy lifestyle for children and teens. He is also a certified personal trainer and strength coach, and maintains a relationship as a coach, trainer and mentor with his former high school’s varsity basketball team at Connetquot High School.

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