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National Society Recognizes Physician-Professor's Hand Biomechanics Discoveries

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National Society Recognizes Physician-Professor's Hand Biomechanics Discoveries

Jan. 21, 2022
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The American Society of Mechanical Engineers recognizes Zong-Ming Li for his "hand"iwork developing non-surgical solutions for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Zong-Ming Li, biomedical engineering professor and director of the Hand Research Laboratory, has been selected by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to receive the 2022 Savio L-Y. Woo Translational Biomechanics Medal. The recognition is awarded to an individual who has taken bioengineering science from fundamental lab discoveries toward clinical applications for patients.

“I’m humbled to receive this award and honored that the committee selected the lab to recognize our contribution to carpal tunnel work,” said Dr. Li, who is also a University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson professor of orthopaedic surgery and a member of the BIO5 Institute. “The Hand Research Laboratory’s mission is to understand how the normal hand works and how to fix the hand when its function is disturbed. As an engineer, it is so interesting to study the human body — in our case, the complexity of the hand and wrist.”

Dr. Li looks at the hand and wrist through an engineer’s lens to figure out how they work. As he unraveled more and more of their mysteries, he began developing engineering solutions to problems such as carpal tunnel syndrome, a condition that affects approximately 3% of the general population and is characterized by tingling, numbness or weakness in the affected hand.