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Contact Information

Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center, 4033
Phone: +1-508-831-6093

Karen Lindsay Troy

The ability of our biological tissues to adapt to their mechanical environment, and the ways in which our tissues are well suited for their own mechanical role within the body, is a constant source of wonder to me. I am interested in understanding the mechanical signals that are experienced within the skeleton during different types of physical activity, understanding what features of these signals stimulate bone to adapt its structure, and in developing noninvasive methods to quantify bone strength. One ongoing project examines changes in bone structure over time in adult women who voluntarily apply known mechanical stimuli to their bones. We use high resolution quantitative computed tomography (CT) to image bone microstructure, and use these images to create computational models that simulate bone mechanical behavior. Another project uses a combination of clinical CT images, mechanical cadaver testing, and computational modeling to measure changes in bone strength in individuals with spinal cord injury who are participating in a clinical trial that targets bone health.

When teaching, I especially enjoy working with groups of students on both physical and computational experiments that explore this link between whole body biomechanics and the physiologic response of our musculoskeletal system. Biomechanics is incredibly relevant to every person’s life, since it dictates how and why we are able to perform certain physical tasks, why we become injured, and how we recover from an injury. In the classroom I try to connect more theoretical concepts to everyday experiences of my students, myself, and my family. At the graduate level, I mentor master’s and doctoral students and enjoy helping them develop into scientists who can ask good questions, communicate clearly, and carry out excellent technical experiments.

Research Interests

  • Biomechanics
  • Orthopaedics
  • Finite Element Modeling
  • Osteporosis
  • Musculoskeletal Injury


  • BS, Washington University in St. Louis, 1999
  • PhD, University of Iowa, 2003
  • Post-doc, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2003-2006

Featured Publications

  • Edwards, W.B., Schnitzer, T.J., Troy, K.L. Torsional stiffness and strength of the proximal tibia are better predicted by finite element models than DXA or QCT.  Journal of Biomechanics, 2013 Jun 21;46(10):1655-62.
  • Troy K.L., Edwards W.B., Bhatia, V.A., Bareither, M.L.  An in vivo loading model to examine bone adaptation in humans: a pilot study.  Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2013 Jun 6. doi: 10.1002/jor.22388. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Edwards, W.B., Schnitzer, T.J., & Troy, K.L. Bone mineral loss at the hip in acute spinal cord injury. Osteoporosis International, 2013 Mar 7. doi: 10.1007/s00198-013-2323-8 [Epub ahead of print]
  • Troy KL, Donovan SJ, Marone JM, Bareither ML, Grabiner MD.  Modifiable performance domain risk-factors associated with slip-related falls. Gait and Posture, 2008 Oct;28(3):461-5
  • Troy KL, Grabiner MD. Asymmetrical ground impact of the hands after a trip-induced fall: Experimental kinematics and kinetics.  Clinical Biomechanics 2007; 22:1088-1095

View a Complete List

Labs and Centers

  • Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Laboratory

Professional Highlights

  • Orthopaedic Research Society, New Investigator Recognition Award, 2010
  • American Society of Biomechanics, Postdoctoral Young Scientist Award, 2006
  • NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, 1999-2002
  • American Society of Biomechanics, Clinical Biomechanics Award, 2002
  • American Society of Biomechanics, Microstrain Award, 2001
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