Research & Innovation

Antonia Zaferiou Receives $822,200 NSF CAREER Award

The grant will fund vital research to improve quality of life for older adults

Dr. Antonia Zaferiou, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, was recently awarded an National Science Foundation CAREER Award in the amount of $822,200. Her project, entitled “Adaptive Sonification to Improve Balance During Everyday Mobility,” will use machine learning and wearable technology to identify balance and gait deficits in fall-prone older adults and to deliver personalized auditory biofeedback ("sonified biofeedback") designed to improve dynamic balance while walking.

Zaferiou’s project will identify relationships between person-specific balance strategies used during turning and other factors including physiological and cognitive capabilities—such as strength and capacity for spatial reasoning—as well as environmental factors such as the presence or absence of obstacles. This information will be used to design personalized auditory biofeedback tuned to convey information about kinematics and ground contact forces in a way that facilitates dynamic balance during walking.

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