Thursday, March 13, 2014 was an exceptional day. When I returned home, a letter was waiting for me, and my girlfriend was quite excited. The letter was from The Georgia Institute of Technology. I made a point of sitting down first, then opened the letter. The first three words were, I am pleased. This was one of the happiest days of my life. I have been accepted to earn a PhD in Applied Physiology with a focus in Prosthetics and Orthotics. With those three words, I knew that the past five years of hard work had paid off, and the next step is now before me.
I will work to create an implantable interface to allow two-way communication from the wearer’s nervous system to a prosthetic limb. This will allow control of the limb, but more importantly will give the wearer a sense of touch. This sense of touch will result in the prosthetic becoming incorporated into the wearer’s body scheme – they will come to think of the limb as their limb, not just a machine attached to their body. This will improve satisfaction with and the utility of prosthetic limbs, thus improving the amputee’s quality of life.
I can’t wait to get started.