Amy Adkins (Northwestern) Wins Biannual DLF Research Scholarship

The De Luca Foundation is pleased to announce Ms. Amy Adkins (Northwestern) as a winner of our bi-annual Research Scholarship.

To date, the De Luca Foundation has awarded 3 scholarships totaling $43,082.05, with the aim of supporting undergraduate and graduate students advance their research activities in motor control and human movement sciences.

Ms. Adkins will receive a scholarship in the amount of $14,928.00 USD for her research project titled “Does chronic limb shortening alter the length and muscle-force generating capability of forearm muscles?” Read the project summary below. 

The Foundation thanks all the applicants who submitted their proposal.

Applications for the second round will be accepted starting October 1st, and we invite students from across the globe to participate. Please visit our Research Scholarship web page for complete details.

Advisor name:  Dr. Wendy Murray

Background:  Ms. Adkins is currently a PhD candidate in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, where she earned her MS in Biomedical Engineering studying under Dr. Wendy Murray. Ms. Adkins has been gaining valuable research experience in the Applied Research in Musculoskeletal Simulation (ARMS) lab at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, where her research has focused on utilizing in vivo imaging techniques to study muscle structure and function in individuals post-surgery and post-stroke. Prior to this, Ms. Adkins earned her BS in Engineering Science from St. Mary’s University, where she conducted undergraduate research focused on improving techniques for the treatment of tricuspid valve disease.


Title:  “Does chronic limb shortening alter the length and force-generating capability of forearm muscles?”

Summary:  Proximal row carpectomy (PRC), a commonly utilized surgical treatment to relieve pain associated with severe wrist osteoarthritis, involves removing a row of carpal bones. PRC shortens the entire forearm-to-hand length, decreasing the distance between the origin and insertion point of all muscle-tendon units which cross the wrist. My overall objective is to understand how the chronic limb shortening imposed by PRC alters the length and force-generating capacity of these muscles. The DeLuca Foundation Research Scholarship will fund my efforts to quantify inter-limb differences in the sarcomere lengths of primary wrist muscles in individuals with unilateral PRC. I will do so using second harmonic generation microendoscopy, as enabled by a novel, in vivo imaging device called a Zebrascope. The novel data that results will advance understanding of the factors most responsible for hand weakness following surgeries that reduce pain for those suffering from wrist osteoarthritis.