Dr Dimitra Blana

Dr Dimitra Blana
Dr Dimitra Blana
Dr Dimitra Blana

Lecturer

About
Email Address
dimitra.blana@abdn.ac.uk
Office Address
Second Floor Health Sciences Building
Foresterhill Campus
Foresterhill
AB25 2ZD

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School/Department
School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

Biography

I am the Interim Director of the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science, and the Lead for the MSc Health Data Science. I am passionate about improving research culture and promoting open and reproducible research practices. I am also an advocate for diversity in health science and technology.

My research focus is dynamic modelling of complex health systems. I initially worked on biomechanical models of the human arm, to help design prosthetic hands, and assistive technologies for people with paralysis. Since joining the Aberdeen Centre for Health Data Science, I have started applying my modelling methods to other healthcare problems. For example, I built an epidemiological model to help NHS Grampian with their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now use dynamic modelling to address a range of health challenges, from the needs of the individual patient, to demand and capacity analysis of the healthcare system.

My background is in biomedical and computer engineering. I received my B.S. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. I went on to earn my M.Sc. and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.

Research

Research Overview

My focus is dynamic modelling of complex health systems. I am a member of a multidisciplinary group that includes health researchers, engineers, computer scientists, and clinicians. 

Here is a list of our human movement related projects, and our COVID-19 modelling work.

Research Specialisms

  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Mathematical Modelling
  • Dynamics
  • Health Informatics

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Knowledge Exchange

Funding and Grants

  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative “Essential Open Source Software for Science”: OpenSim Creator: Empowering Biomedical Research with Biomechanical Models, 2022-2025
  • Carnegie Trust For The Universities Of Scotland PhD studentship: Wearable sensors for clinical movement analysis of the upper limb: enhancing accuracy and improving access, 2022-2025
  • NHS Grampian Endowment: Investigating socioeconomic disparities as a cause and consequence of deteriorating kidney health among people admitted to hospital with an acute illness, 2021-2022
  • NHS Grampian Endowment: Using wearable technology to optimise timing of concomitant metformin and exercise prescription, 2021-2022
  • SFC Upskilling Fund to develop two Master’s level Health Data Science courses, 2021
  • NHS Grampian Endowment grant: Integrating real time surveillance and dynamic modelling of COVID-19 in Grampian to inform an adaptive healthcare response, 2020-2021
  • Clinical movement analysis society (CMAS) small grant: A free online platform for sharing movement analysis code and resources, 2019
  • EPSRC Healthcare Technologies grant: Personalised approach to restoration of arm function in people with high-level tetraplegia, 2018-2021 
  • Innovation Fund from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine: Intelligent FES for restoring arm movement in people with tetraplegia, 2018
  • RCUK Public Engagement with Research Catalysts: Co-Production and Creativity: ethos, typologies and innovation in public engagement practice, 2017 - 2018
  • Keele Innovation Fund: Using digitally enhanced creative methods to engage the community with biomedical engineering research, 2017
  • Orthopaedic Institute / Keele ACORN PhD studentship: Biomechanical modelling of toe walking gait to inform the prescription of ankle foot orthoses in children with cerebral palsy, 2016 - 2019
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NIH): Intracortical control of FES-restored arm and hand function in people with spinal cord injury, subcontract with Case Western Reserve University, 2015 - 2017
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIH): Prosthesis Control by Forward Dynamic Simulation of the Intact Biomedical System, subcontract with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2013 - 2015
Teaching

Programmes

Publications

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  • The Stabilizing Function of Superficial Shoulder Muscles Changes Between Single-Plane Elevation and Reaching Tasks

    Ameln, D. J. D., Chadwick, E. K., Blana, D., Murgia, A.
    IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 66, no. 2, pp. 564-572
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Validating the Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

    Philp, F., Blana, D., Stewart, C., Chadwick, E., Pandyan, A.
    Contributions to Conferences: Papers
  • Study of the measurement and predictive validity of the Functional Movement Screen

    Philp, F., Blana, D., Chadwick, E. K., Stewart, C., Stapleton, C., Major, K., Pandyan, A. D.
    BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, vol. 4, no. 1, e000357
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Control of a robotic hand with an EMG-driven, real-time biomechanical computer model

    Blana, D., Krasoulis, A., Nazarpour, K., Chadwick, E.
    Contributions to Conferences: Papers
  • Does the total Functional Movement Screen (FMS) score have predictive validity in football?

    Philp, F., Blana, D., Stewart, C., Chadwick, E., Pandyan, A.
    Contributions to Conferences: Papers
  • Real-time simulation of hand motion for prosthesis control

    Blana, D., Chadwick, E. K., van den Bogert, A. J., Murray, W. M.
    Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 540-549
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Musculoskeletal modelling simulation with optimisation to predict the morphological parameters of the calf muscle

    Rymaszewski, P., Stewart, C., Blana, D., Chadwick, E., Sardar, S., Jarvis, S.
    Gait Posture, vol. 57, pp. 87-88
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Feasibility of using combined EMG and kinematic signals for prosthesis control: A simulation study using a virtual reality environment

    Blana, D., Kyriacou, T., Lambrecht, J. M., Chadwick, E. K.
    Journal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology, vol. 29, pp. 21-27
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • An optimized proportional-derivative controller for the human upper extremity with gravity

    Jagodnik, K., Blana, D., van den Bogert, A., Kirsch, R.
    Journal of Biomechanics, vol. 48, no. 13, pp. 3692-3700
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
  • Real-Time Simulation of Three-Dimensional Shoulder Girdle and Arm Dynamics

    Chadwick, E. K., Blana, D., Kirsch, R. F., van den Bogert, A. J.
    IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, vol. 61, no. 7, pp. 1947-1956
    Contributions to Journals: Articles
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Books and Reports

Chapters in Books, Reports and Conference Proceedings

Contributions to Conferences

Contributions to Journals

Working Papers