Human Mobility Research Centre

Human Mobility Research Centre

Human Mobility Research Centre

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The History of HMRC

In 1968 Dr. Charles Sorbie, Head of Orthopaedic Surgery, saw the need for a Bioengineer to implement current engineering expertise into orthopaedic and broader surgical practices.  The following year Dr. Philip Lowe took on that role when he was appointed to the Division of Orthopaedics and the Biomedical Electronics Unit* (headed by Denis Lywood).  The same era saw the formation of the Rheumatic Diseases Unit within the Department of Medicine.  These, in part, were the base for the founding of the Clinical Mechanics Group (CMG) that gained an international reputation for its research contributions in the area of biomechanics.

The CMG was granted official university status in 1984 with founding researchers from the Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedics (C. Sorbie and T.D.V. Cooke), the Department of Mechanical Engineering (H.W. Wevers) and the Department of Physical Medicine (J. Durance).  In 1987 CMG moved to its present location with the opening of the Apps Medical Research Centre in Kingston General Hospital.  The group grew to ten faculty members over the next decade, funded in part by NSERC and MRC grants, including a long-term MRC Group Grant.

In 1998, a team of researchers developed a novel model for future advances in musculoskeletal treatments that integrated mechanical design, emergent biological techniques in regenerative medicine, information technologies and rehabilitation therapies.  As a result, the team evolved to include researchers from a broad representation of disciplines focused on musculoskeletal research including biochemistry, chemical engineering, clinical psychology, computer science and information technologies, epidemiology, immunology, mechanical and materials engineering, orthopaedic surgery, kinesiology and health science, rehabilitation therapy, and rheumatology.  In collaboration with senior administration at Queen's and KGH, major infrastructure funding was obtained to support the new initiative.

*Later renamed the Biomedical Engineering Unit which was amalgamated with other service and research groups in the 1980s.