John CavanaughProfessor and Interim Chair Biomedical Engineering
Areas of expertisebiomechanics
Dr. Cavanaugh received bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering and completed his M.D. at Michigan State University in 1984. He joined the research staff of the Bioengineering Center in 1985 and has conducted research in impact biomechanics and neurophysiology since that time.
In impact biomechanics, he has published papers on the effects of side impacts on the human shoulder, thorax, abdomen and pelvis and the ability of padding to mitigate these injuries. In addition, he and his group have studied axonal injury, concussion and the mechanical properties of shoulder ligaments.
Dr. Cavanaugh's laboratory has also studied mechanisms of low back pain, neck pain, sciatica and axonal injury using neurophysiologic techniques. He and his group received the 1995 Kappa Delta Award of theAmerican Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for low back pain research. His group is now studying neck pain and whiplash through funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This work received the John Paul Stapp best paper award at the 2005 Stapp Car Crash Conference (Lu et al, 2005).