The Nishikawa Lab
Theodore A. Uyeno
Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate
Education: B.Sc. & M.Sc. (University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada), Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Technique specialties: Kinematics & EMG, electronics, histology & microscopy, invertebrate systematics, computer imaging.
The biomechanics of multifunctional soft tissue structures
Ted's Ph.D. dissertation (2007, under Dr. Wm. Kier) described the form and function of muscle articulations found in marine invertebrates. Muscle articulations are a new class of joint in which the skeletal elements do not come into contact. Instead, the arrangement of muscle and connective tissue that connects and separates the skeletal elements allow these joints to be used in prey manipulators, such as beaks and jaws, with a great diversity and complexity of movements. As muscles are a crucial component of such soft tissue structures, Ted's postdoctoral fellowship (under. Dr. K. Nishikawa) is devoted to learning how to characterize their mechanical properties by using muscle lever techniques. As such, Ted is part of a team that is trying to model the use of another fascinating soft tissue feeding structure; the anuran tongue protraction mechanism. Here, the use of the tongue in feeding is being modeled in concert with the kinematics of coordinated head and torso movements in order to develop a better understanding of the structure, function, and neural control of this fascinating behavior. As one specialty of the Nishikawa lab is the characterization of the intrinsic spring properties of muscles, Ted is also heading an analysis of cephalopod musculature to allow an initial comparison of vertebrate muscle properties to those embodied by the diversity of invertebrate musculature.
Ted's webpage: http://www2.nau.edu/~tau6