Candidates / Election 2018

From IFESS President Thierry Keller:

Please cast your vote for the positions of three Board members. Six candidates have been proposed by the board and in the last Annual Meeting to replace the board members Gad Alon, Philip Troyk, and Dingguo Zhang that served the board for the last 3 years.


Candidates for the Board (in random order):


Cesar Marquez-Chin
Toronto, Canada

Cesar Marquez Chin received a PhD degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Toronto, Canada in 2011, and the Lic. Ing. Degree in biomedical engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 1998. His areas of research include brain-computer interfaces, functional electrical stimulation, neurorehabilitation, neurotechnologies, assistive technologies, rehabilitation robotic systems, and human machine interfaces. Prior to starting his graduate studies, Dr. Marquez was one of the founding members of the Assistive Technology Service at the Lyndhurst Hospital (known today as the Lyndhurst Centre of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network), which he eventually led. During that time, he worked in the clinical front to support individuals with high-level spinal cord injury identify and acquire assistive devices to meet their communication needs. He was also part of the development team of multiple commercial-grade assistive devices including word-prediction software and upper-limb prosthetic systems.

Dr. Marquez-Chin is currently a scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute - University Health Network in Toronto, Canada and a lecturer (status only) in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. He is also a project lead in the Center for Advancing Neurotechnological Innovation to Application (CRANIA), a multiyear initiative which includes neurologists, neurosurgeons, and engineers to create new implantable neurotechnologies. Dr. Marquez has worked for the last 20 years on the integration of brain-computer interfacing technologies and functional electrical stimulation devices. Motivated by his clinical experience, he is interested in exploring the efficacy of these combined technologies to restore function after spinal cord injury and stroke while developing technology that is suitable for use in a clinical environment.

Jonathan Jarvis
Liverpool, UK

Professor Jarvis is a muscle physiologist with long-standing interests in the adaptive response of muscle to voluntary exercise and to applied stimulation. He has BSc (Physics with Physiology) and PhD (Biochemistry) degrees from the University of London and is now Professor in Physical Activity Intervention at Liverpool John Moores University. His own published research in experimental stimulation with miniature muscle stimulators is therefore surrounded by projects in whole human physiology and biomechanics. He tries to translate understanding of the fundamental physiology and cell biology of muscle and nerve into practical training and rehabilitation strategies.

He was a keynote speaker at IFESS 2018 and founder member of the new IFESS at Nottwil. He has served previously on the IFESS Board and worked on plans for outreach and education.

Current research includes transcriptional analysis of stimulated, inactive and denervated muscles, to try to understand more completely how patterns of activation and loading of muscles relate to immediate and long-term cellular responses.  Jonathan has worked for many years with the Vienna group to refine implantable neuromodulators for use in experimental work and we now have the opportunity to use fully remotely programmable devices that can produce any conceivable pattern of activity. These cellular responses are the determinants of force, speed, power and endurance.

Jonathan is interested in the limits to training: the threshold of activity above which slowing of muscle occurs, the internal signals for muscle hypertrophy, and the threshold above which muscle becomes damaged. These are important in FES to influence breathing and control of the airway (laryngeal pacing) and the use of skeletal muscle to assist the heart or to provide neosphincter function, as well as the more common application of FES for reanimation of limbs.

Dingguo Zhang
Shanghai, China

Dingguo Zhang received the Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Jilin University, China, in 2000, the Master’s degree in control engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology, China, in 2002, and the Ph.D. degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2007. From 2006 to 2007, he was a Research Fellow at Nanyang Technological University. In 2008, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at LIRMM of CNRS, France. He is currently an Associate Professor at Institute of Robotics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China. His research interests include human-machine interfaces, electrical stimulation, rehabilitation technologies, and biomechatronics.

Dr. Zhang is an IEEE senior member and IFESS lifetime member. He serves as a member in three Technical Committees: Therapeutic Systems and Technologies in EMBS, BioRobotics in EMBS, and Brain-Machine Interface Systems in SMC. He is an associate editor (or editorial board member) of IEEE Access, IEEE Trans. Human-Machine Systems, PLOS One, and Scientific Reports. He is a topic editor of Frontiers in Neuroscience. He is the winner of the Delsys Prize 2011, USA.

Dr. Zhang made contribution to introducing biologically-inspired control (central pattern generator, CPG) into FES systems in his previous research. He has developed FES systems driven by brain-computer interface (BCI). At present, he conducts research on harmonizing robotic exoskeleton with FES, and combining transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with FES. He is also developing multi-pad FES for fine finger control. He has just proposed a term “muscle-muscle interface”, which can connect EMG with FES, and realize master-salve control between different persons. Dr. Zhang has close collaborations with rehabilitation therapists/doctors in the top hospitals of Shanghai, so the clinical FES evaluation and experiments were frequently conducted on patients to test the proposed FES technologies and systems. Dr. Zhang is trying his best to promote FES research in China and Asia.


Gad Alon
Baltimore, USA

I received my physical therapy certificate from Wingate Institute in Israel, an MS from the Medical College of Virginia and a PhD from the University of Maryland, USA. I then joined the University of Maryland, School of Medicine as faculty focusing on rehabilitation research and teaching in the department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Most of my research combined pathological movements analyses and the benefit of using electrical stimulation to help the recovery of patients from toddlers to elders.

I joined IFESS’ board of directors (BOD) in 2014 and was re-appointed in 2016. Since joining, it became clear to me that a major missing link of the society is translating the outstanding scientific engineering and electrophysiological/pathological knowledge to clinical practice. Indeed, we have seen considerable progress in utilizing electrical stimulation in rehabilitation practice in the past 10 years. Nonetheless, numerous barriers continue to slow down the dissemination of knowledge, and thus deprive most patients from benefiting from FES technologies. What I hope to contribute in the coming years is help disseminate the clinical knowledge with the goal of making FES a standard-of-care option in rehabilitation medicine.




Philip Troyk
Chicago, IL, USA

As a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology (as well as Associate Dean of Engineering), I have been involved with FES, neural stimulation, and neural recording for skin-surface and implantable applications for over 30 years.  My expertise lies substantially with hardware and system design.  Earlier, my designs had been used for surface FES. Later, implantable devices such as the BION™ used key technology developed through my collaborative participation.  Most recently, implantable neural stimulation and recording systems for neural prostheses, BMI, and peripheral FES are using my designs which are based upon FES-specialized custom integrated circuits (ASICs), with some of these produced by Sigenics, Inc – a custom electronic device company that I founded.  Sigenics, now in its 19th year of operations, produces custom ASICs for medical and non-medical use.  Two FES applications that are at the forefront of my most recent work are the Intracortical Visual Prosthesis (ICVP) project using the Wireless Floating Microelectrode Array (WFMA), and the Implantable Myoelectric Sensor (IMES).  As a close collaborator of several research groups, my approach is to take a team-oriented, and holistic need-based, approach to FES design that includes characterizing and designing electrodes, specifying and designing the stimulation hardware, and tailoring the interface for optimal control.  My collaboration with the University of Alberta ISMS project is but one current example. Here, we are looking to adapt the WFMA technology for use in FES-related spinal cord stimulation.  Today, technology has reached a state of unprecedented availability, with the challenge being its shaping to need clinical needs.

Statement of Candidacy

As a current IFESS Board member, my efforts over my past two terms have been to promote the transition of the structure and function of IFESS to meet the current needs of the FES field.  This process of transformation is not yet completed and I would be honored to continue my contributions to shaping a new relevance to IFESS.  While I have seen the early beginnings of IFESS, today simply stating that we are an interdisciplinary society is not enough.  IFESS needs to become uniquely attractive to current and new members by acting as a facilitating force for interactions between clinicians, technologists, and educators.  Established FES leaders, technology developers, and students can benefit from IFESS-organized forums about how modern technology can meet emerging FES needs. I believe that my background in academics, translational research, and industry provides a cross-disciplinary perspective


Thomas W.J. Janssen
Amsterdam, Netherlands

In 1988, Thomas Janssen received his MSc in exercise physiology and functional anatomy from the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In 1994, he received a PhD degree in Human Movement Sciences for his thesis on Physical Strain and Physical Capacity of Men with Spinal Cord Injuries. Between 1994 and 1998 he was a visiting scientist at and associate director of the Institute for Rehabilitation Research and Medicine, Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton (Ohio, USA), where he worked alongside and got inspired by one of the pioneers in electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles, prof.dr. Roger Glaser.

Upon returning to the Netherlands, he took an assistant professorship at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, performing rehabilitation research and teaching classes on exercise physiology and rehabilitation. At the same time, he started working as research coordinator of the Rehabilitation Center Amsterdam (current name: Reade). His main research interest lies in the field of exercise physiology and biomechanics applied to rehabilitation and exercise. Most profound research subjects are physical capacity, activity and health of wheelchair users with a spinal cord injury, electrical stimulation therapy of paralyzed muscles, and disability sports. Since 2008 he is professor in Rehabilitation Research, Spinal Cord Injury, and Adapted Sports at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is currently chair of the Amsterdam Rehabilitation Research Center | Reade and scientifically responsible for the spinal cord injury department of Reade and for the Center for Adapted Sports Amsterdam.

Current research includes the application of daily (and nightly) electrical stimulation of paralyzed muscles to reduce the risk of secondary complications, such as muscle atrophy, reduced circulation, poor skin condition, poor sitting pressure distribution, pressure sores, low blood pressure, and obesity. Also, research on FES cycling and hybrid exercise to improve health and fitness and reduce risk of secondary complications is a main topic. Prof. Janssen is also advisor of the PulseRacing team, a team of MSc-students that aims to participate in the FES-cycling race in the next Cybathlon.

Working both at the university and the rehabilitation hospital (Reade Amsterdam), he has experienced that the gap between science and clinical practice is still large. For the last decade, he has therefore pushed and pulled from and to both sides, trying reduce the gap. This has finally led to the development of an Electrical Stimulation Expertise Center in Reade, where research is strongly combined with clinical care. Reade is currently the only rehabilitation center in the Netherlands that has successfully implemented electrical stimulation into the regular care of all patients with spinal cord injuries.