Prof. Vijay Goel

International Awards

Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence - Orthopedic Mechanics
Prof. Vijay K Goel is a Distinguished University Professor, Endowed Chair, and McMaster Gardner Professor of Orthopaedic Bioengineering, as well as the Co-Director of Engineering Center for Orthopaedic Research Excellence (E-Core) in the University of Toledo, Ohio, United States of America.

Personal Details/ Academic bacground:

Prof. Vijay Goel has completed his Masters in Mechanical Engineering and specialized in Design from the Rurkee University in India. Thereafter he obtained a PhD in Stress Analysis Associated with Total Hip Prosthesis from University of New South Wales, Australia in the year 1977. After completing one year internship in the University of New South Wales as a Teaching Fellow he has started his career with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, India in their Centre for Biomedical Engineering In the year 1979 he moved to the United States as a Research Associate in Yale University at their Medical School at the Department of Orthopedics. After completing 3 years, he moved to the University of lowa in their Department of Biomedical Engineering and worked from 1982 to 1996 till he become the Acting Director of the Iowa Institute of Biomedical Engineering. 
After serving with many other Research Centers in the city of lowa he moved to the Department of Orthopedics in University of Toledo, Ohio in the year 2000 as a Professor and Director. He then became the Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toledo.

Research Achievements:

Dr. Goel has set the standard for research excellence in the field of orthopedic biomechanics, conducting ground-breaking research in the field for over 40 years. Dr. Goel has made significant and lasting contributions to the field through his development of 3D finite element models of complex orthopedic anatomies. Dr. Goel began his research career in the analysis of the hip joint and hip replacement biomechanics, the predictions of which have been validated over a 20 year time span by clinical data. He has also worked on shoulder, knee, and ankle joints. However, he has spent the vast majority of his career focused on the most biomechanicaIly-complex structure in the human body, the spine, and how interventions affect the kinematics and load sharing among spinal components. Dr. Goel has studied the entire spine, cervical to sacral, vertebrae to disc. 

Research innovation:

Early in Dr. Goel’s research career, he made a significant leap in 3D finite element (FE) model development of the spine by identifying and adapting cutting edge technology from a completely different discipline — stereophotogrammetry used in aerial surveying — to determine load- displacement behavior of intact, injured, and stabilized spinal segments. Dr. Goel used these techniques to generate highly accurate 3D mapping of the spine in the FE models. The ability to rapidly and accurately map 3D coordinates of the spine under loading conditions dramatically increased the utility of the models as a tool for analysis of spine biomechanics. Dr. Goel made the next major leap in model development by including muscle forces in the spine models, greatly increasing their predictive ability, despite significant opposition to the use of FE models as predictive tools. It is his perseverance in the midst of a lack of consensus that characterizes much of Dr. Goel’s success and subsequent impact on the field.

Professional Milestones:

Dr. Goel has mentored an impressive number of undergraduate, masters, and doctoral students over his career. While many of them were engineering students, he has also been committed to working with medical students who are interested in pursuing clinical careers in orthopedics. Dr. Goel’s vast knowledge base and research expertise make him a magnet for residents, fellows, and surgeons who have identified issues with spinal cord repair. Dr. Goel has worked with these medical professionals on improved procedures for spinal cord surgery, enhanced tools for spinal cord repair, and the development of modified methods and devices for the repair of spinal defects. 
Dr. Goel has been involved in several start-up companies as a principal, translating the clinical needs of his professional colleagues into improved medical devices. One recent example is the launch of the company Spinal Balance in which a sterile no-touch pedicle screw system allows surgeons to stabilize a spinal segment. Drawing on his understanding of not only the clinical environment, but also the larger healthcare picture, the screw system allows for spinal repair with significantly reduced risk of infection.

Respect of industry:

A key indicator of the value of Dr. Goel’s work is evident in his decades-long interaction with the industrial field. Dr Goel has been sought after by the industry to help solve problems with product design as well as functional issues of developed products. With his broad expertise in both modeling of spinal kinematics and experimental measurement of load-displacement of spine under normal and repair conditions, he has provided much needed support to the biomedical device industry. 
In collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Goel has founded the NSF Industry University Collaborative Research Center — Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations (CDMI) that supports industry in their research needs for medical device development.
The CDMI was established in 2013 to facilitate collaborations between experts in healthcare economics, biomedical science, and clinical medicine. 
The mission of the CDMI is to use data-driven analyses to inform new technology development with the goal of enhancing the probability for eventual regulatory approval and clinical adoption of medical devices. Dr. Goel works closely with the industry on experimental validation studies of new orthopedic devices and frequently provides mechanical testing studies needed for FDA approval of newly developed fixation and repair devices. In recognition of the high quality and applied nature of Dr. Goel’s work, the American Society of Biomechanics has recently established the Goal Award for Translational Research in Biomechanics. “The Goel Award selection is based on originality, quality and depth of the candidate’s research, and the commercial and societal benefits emanating from this research.” This award truly reflects the nature and significance of Dr. Goel’s long record of achievements in this field.

Awards and recognitions:

Dr. Goel has received numerous research awards based on his contributions to the field of orthopedic biomechanics, including multiple Volvo (International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine, ISSLS) and AcroMed Awards (North American Spine Society, NASS), and many best paper, poster and presentation awards for him and his students. More notably, Dr. Goel is the recipient of four lifetime achievement awards: the H. R. Lissner Award (ASME-Bioengineering), ISSLS Wiltse Award, Henry Farfan Award (NASS), and the Borelli Award (American Society of Biomechanics, ASB).
Dr. Goel joined the faculty of University of Toledo in 2000 as the chair of the Department of Bioengineering and in the tenure of 17 years, he has demonstrated a dedication to excellence in teaching, scholarship, and university, industry, and professional contributions, therefore he  truly deserves the Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in the field of Orthopedic Mechanics for the term 2017-2018.


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