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Bioengineering Approaches to Understand, Prevent and Treat Facet Joint Pain

Seminar Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences Seminar Series

Beth Winkelstein, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Bioengineering, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania

The broad goal of Beth’s research is to understand the mechanisms of injury that produce whiplash, sports-related, and other painful injuries. By combining biomechanical and immunological techniques, her lab can define the relationships between injury to the cervical spine/neck and physiological cascades of persistent pain. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding injury to individual structures in the neck, such as the facet joints, nerve roots and spinal cord and how mechanical loading to these structures elicits pain. Through this work she can begin to develop thresholds for mechanical injury that produce persistent pain; and work towards a definition of the neck’s tolerance for painful injury. 

Additional research efforts are aimed at understanding the role of biomechanics in the neuroimmunologic changes of the central nervous system that contribute to persistent pain. Applications of her current work are in the areas of automotive and whiplash-related injury and sports injuries and have implications for design efforts in automobiles that are aimed at preventing whiplash injuries.

Lunch will be provided
Hosted by: Edward Bilsky, Ph.D.


Dr. Winkelstein is a Professor of Bioengineering and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her BSE (Bioengineering) in 1993 from the University of Pennsylvania and her PhD (Biomedical Engineering) in 1999 from Duke University.


Center for Excellence in Neurosciences


12:00 PM
Alfond Room 113

Biddeford Campus

Free and open to the public