Soo Yeon Sun, PhD

Assistant Professor

Dr. Soo Yeon Sun has extensive research background. Though her doctoral and postdoctoral training, she gained research experience both in basic science (chicken embryos) and translational science (humans with spinal cord injury). In the statistics and research courses she teaches at Alvernia, her expertise in research will help students develop research questions, choose an appropriate research paradigm and statistical analysis. This will not only advance students’ understanding and involvement in clinical research, but also contribute to the scholarship of the DPT program by developing mechanistic questions related to the clinical inquiries. 

Through her research, she investigated spinal locomotor network in developing chicken embryos and humans with spinal cord injury. With her knowledge in spinal locomotor systems, combined with clinical experience as a pediatric physical therapist in South Korea, she connects knowledge among neuro-motor development, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and principles of physical therapy interventions in the courses she teaches at Alvernia. She also demonstrates broad knowledge in emerging neurorehabilitation tools, which will help students prepare for what they may see in their patients in clinics in the future.

Education

  • PhD Biokinesiology, 2016, University of Southern California
  • BS Physical Therapy, 2004, Daegu University, South Korea

Scholarship/Research Interests

My research aim is to improve the understanding of neural components contributing to the activation and modulation of locomotor circuitry and ultimately develop therapeutic techniques to promote recovery of walking after severe neurological injuries.

Awards

  • 2018 Excellence in Neuroscience Research, 3rd Place, Postdoctoral Students & Residents Poster Competition, Neuroscience Day, Society for Neuroscience - Louisville Chapter.
  • 2016 Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Candidate Research Award, 2nd Place, Ostrow School of Dentistry Research Day, University of Southern California
  • 2015 Travel Award. International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.
  • 2015 Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy Candidate, Research Award, 1st Place, Ostrow School of Dentistry Research Day, University of Southern California.

Peer-Reviewed Publications/Presentations

  • Sun SY, Angeli CA, Giszter SF, Harkema SJ. Modular control of locomotion following severe spinal cord injury. Society for Neuroscience - Louisville Chapter, Louisville, KY. April 13, 2018
  • Sun SY, Baker LL, Bradley NS. Ankle muscle tenotomy does not alter ankle flexor muscle recruitment bias during locomotor-related repetitive limb movement in late-stage chick embryos. Dev Psychobiol, 2018;60(2):150-164.
  • Sun SY, Harkema SJ, Angeli CA. Effects of non-task-specific spinal cord epidural stimulation parameters on modulation of EMG activity during stepping. Society for Neuroscience.November 11, 2017
  • Sun SY, Harkema SJ, Angeli CA. Effects of non-task-specific spinal cord epidural stimulation parameters on modulation of EMG activity during stepping. Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust Symposium.May 17-18, 2017
  • Sun SY, Bradley NS. Differences in flexor and extensor activity during locomotor-related leg movements in chick embryos. Dev Psychobiol, 2017;59(3):357-366.
  • Pepper J, Wang TV, Hennes V, Sun SY, Ichida JK. Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Motor Neuron Transplant for Neuromuscular Atrophy in a Mouse Model of Sciatic Nerve Injury. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(3):197–205.
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