Physics professor's research on vibration therapy aided by travel grant to Montreal

Moving from the study of a single cell to the study of the human body introduces numerous complications. Willamette University physics professor David Altman is excited to take on these challenges with the support of a $5,000 collaborative research travel grant.

“In physics, I study one molecule or one cell at a time, on a micro scale,” he says. “I would like to be able to approach problems from every scale possible, so it is exciting to move from the lab to the real-life application of these techniques.”

The travel grant will enable Altman to collaborate with Dilson Rassier at McGill University in Montreal, where the two will observe the mechanical properties of muscle. By vibrating a muscle on one end, Altman says he will learn how vibrations are transmitted through it.

Altman sees the grant as a starting point for future collaboration with Junggi Hong, who teaches exercise science at Willamette. Hong developed the vibration therapy technique, and with the help of a physics student, is studying the effects feet vibrations have on pain caused by diabetes.

Altman says he hopes to learn new vibration therapy techniques and use them in his lab, which is run by Willamette students.

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund Collaborative Research Travel Grant provides funding for researchers from degree-granting institutions. Recipients travel either domestically or internationally to acquire new research techniques and collaborate with researchers from other laboratories.