About the PracticePoint Team

Core Faculty and Staff

Christopher Nycz
Assistant Research Professor, Practice Point

Phone: +1 (508) 8316126

Christopher Nycz is a research scientist working with WPI's PracticePoint center for advancing healthcare cyber-physical systems. In this role, Chris is responsible for managing a broad range of industry-academia projects in areas including biomechatronics, image guided therapy, smart-home environments, and surgical robotics. Chris’s research interests are in the use of wearable robotics to restore hand function of those suffering paresis as a result of neurological trauma and disease. In his doctoral research he applied a patient-centric approach to hand exoskeletons, working to translate ...

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Catherine Bouthillier
Senior Manager, Healthcare Corporate Partnerships, Academic & Corporate Engagement

Phone: +1 (508) 8314653

Catherine D. Bouthillier is the Senior Manager of Healthcare Corporate Partnerships at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). In this capacity, she specializes in delivering consultancy services to Life Science companies, offering tailored solutions in research and development as well as training. Her ability to promptly access and leverage the formidable resources at WPI encompasses facilities such as: PracticePoint, the Cell Engineering Research Equipment Suite (CERES), the Biomanufacturing Education & Training Center (BETC), and the Intentional Design Studio (IDeaS). Her extensive ...

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Meet Our Student Workers

Andrew Daudelin

Physics Research Assistant


Andrew Daudelin is a PhD student in Physics working under Prof. David Medich. He has a background in medical imaging and dosimetry, and currently helps to operate equipment at PracticePoint, including the x-ray and MRI systems.

Faculty Collaborators

Gregory Fischer

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5261

Professor Fischer is the William Smith Dean's Professor and a faculty member in Robotics Engineering with a appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at WPI. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2008 from Johns Hopkins University, where he was part of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Computer Integrated Surgery. At WPI he has been an integral part of developing the Robotics Engineering program and teaches primarily junior-level and graduate courses in Robotics. He is the founding director of the Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) ...

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Soussan Djamasbi
Professor, The Business School

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x5266

I specialize in user experience and decision-making research, focusing on uncovering the intricacies of human cognition to understand the factors that enhance or impede the effective use of information technologies.Since people predominantly use their eyes to process information, I utilize eye-tracking technology to study user reactions to product and service designs. For example, I analyze eye movement data to evaluate user engagement with various content, ranging from embedded information on organizational websites to complex details, such as diagnosis and treatment options, in medical ...

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Benjamin Nephew
Assistant Research Professor-Biology & Biotechnology, Biology & Biotechnology

I work with Dean Jean King, where our research is broadly focused on identifying and studying neurobehavioral mechanisms of mental illness and developing effective interventions.  We currently use functional MRI (fMRI) to identify the neural correlates of mindfulness based stress reduction as part of a stage IIa randomized clinical trial, and fMRI data combined with related clinical measures to develop machine learning based early predictors of severe depression and suicidality.  I developed a transgenerational social stress based rodent model of postpartum depression/anxiety, and related ...

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Richard Lopez
Assistant Professor, Social Science & Policy Studies

Phone: +1 (508) 8316805

Richard Lopez is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology in the Department of Social Science and Policy Studies at WPI. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology, social neuroscience, and Open Science practices applied to functional neuroimaging. He also directs the Social Neuroscience of Affective Processes (SNAP) Lab. In the SNAP Lab, Professor Lopez and his students utilize tools in modern neuroscience (e.g., fMRI) and longitudinal modeling of behavior to better understand how human beings align their thoughts and emotions with goals they are pursuing—with ...

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Loris Fichera
Assistant Professor, Robotics Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315021

My research interests are in the application of robotics and computer science to enhance medicine, and particularly surgery. What gets me out of bed in the morning is the prospect of helping doctors save lives and improve the quality of life of their patients. My students and I work side-by-side with clinical collaborators to create technology that presents a tangible clinical value – for instance, making an existing surgical procedure more accurate or enabling new procedures that are not feasible with current instrumentation. Close interaction with medical doctors is a fundamental component ...

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Ulkuhan Guler
Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316914

My research interests lie in the broad area of circuits and systems, and my primary area of interest is analog/mixed signal integrated circuits. More specifically, I am interested in the circuit design of sensing interfaces and energy harvesting and wireless power transmission systems for applications in the IoT. Exponential increases in the demand for next-generation clinical and telemedical diagnostic devices require monitoring and measurements from inside and outside of the body via implantable and wearable sensors predicted to be an important pillar of smart healthcare. My vision is ...

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Karen Troy
Professor and Associate Department Head, Biomedical Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8315000 x6093

  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 biomechanical risk factors for bone stress injury in ...

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Haichong Zhang
Associate Professor, Robotics Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8316892

The research program led by Dr. Haichong (Kai) Zhang focuses on the interface of medical robotics, sensing, and imaging, and to develop a novel biomedical imaging systems that delineates both anatomical and physiological properties of a biological tissue that have been inaccessible. In addition, we will develop robotic assisted imaging systems as well as image-guided robotic interventional platforms, where ultrasound and photoacoustic (PA) imaging are two key modalities to be investigated and integrated with robotics.The scope of innovation includes (1) co-robotic imaging, where a robotic ...

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Yihao Zheng
Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Phone: +1 (508) 8314649

My research focuses on medical and manufacturing innovation. I apply manufacturing science and technology to enhance healthcare. I contribute fundamental knowledge of tissue mechanics and imaging properties, provide novel computational modeling methodologies to simulate and understand manufacturing and surgical processes, and develop medical devices and clinical manufacturing systems to tackle unmet clinical needs. “Intuition makes an engineer outstanding. Passion is the foundation for instruction.” These two statements, which define my expectations for my students and for myself, ...

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