International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor

In March 2002 I received an ISB Student International Travel Grant Award. This award enabled me to travel to the IV World Congress of Biomechanics in Calgary followed by a visit to the Human Performance Laboratory at the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary for four weeks.

I started my travel in August from Frankfurt to Calgary with a pleasant anticipation about my biomechanics research program. It was my first travel over the “big sea” and it was also the first time that I would spend a longer time at a different research laboratory.

As a Ph.D. student I investigated the ability of the growth plate to adapt its mechanical properties in response to mechanical loading. It was of special interest whether and how the alterations of the mechanical properties are reflected on the morphological and biochemical level in the growth plate. At the World Congress of Biomechanics I got the opportunity to present partial results of my research and to meet people working in my field of interests. I was excited about the amount of feedback regarding my poster presentation. This participation was an opportunity to discuss about research, to exchange knowledge and to establish international contacts with other scientists leading to a more intensive understanding of the current research fields in biomechanics. The scientific program was very extensive and of high quality. My interest in biomechanics of bone and cartilage was attracted by a great number of presentations and I was impressed of increasing interactions between mechanical and biological research also expressed in the opening lecture from Physics Nobel Price winner Dr. Steven Chu. It was a gratification for me to participate in such an excellent and well organised conference.

Following the conference I visited the Human Performance Laboratory at the Faculty of Kinesiology, especially the group of Dr. Walter Herzog. I was involved in a muscle mechanics study investigating the M. tibialis anterior from rabbits and a study investigating the effect of muscle weakness on osteoarthritis. I am very grateful to Dr. Walter Herzog and Tim Leonard for their guidance and support. It was absorbing for me to see how another lab functions and how they perform their research to get a comprehensive idea of biomechanical science. The laboratory with the different researcher groups provided me an insight in an variety of different fields of interest (modeling of articular cartilage, deformation of articular chondrocytes, history-dependent properties of isolated single muscle fibers from frog skeletal muscle, bone adaptation). I met a lot of researchers and learned about their work. This stay gives me many thought provoking impulses for my further research career.

I would like to thank the ISB for giving me the opportunity to travel to the IV World Congress of Biomechanics and visit the Human Performance Laboratory at the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary in Canada. I think that this is an excellent opportunity for students to enlarge their research experiences. Thank you very much!

Anja Niehoff
Institute for Biomechanics
German Sport University of Cologne
Germany