- Producer: Michael Schubert
- Feet First: A tale of science and serendipity
This is a story of science and serendipity, a researcher observing and listening, a story of research unfolding. Karen Mickle moved from researching changes in the feet of children, to older feet, studying falling injuries and ultimately developing exercises based on biomechanical principles. Karen’s research became practically driven as she listened to the reports of her participants, and her current focus is focused on improving the health and fitness of feet in a diabetic population.
Dr Karen Mickle is a postdoctoral research fellow within the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL) at Victoria University. Her research is located in the Gait, Balance and Falls group within ISEAL’s Clinical Exercise Science Research program.
Karen is a biomechanist who gained her PhD in 2011 from the University of Wollongong and was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral training fellowship (2011-14) from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Karen’s research for over a decade has focused on applied lower limb biomechanics with a specific interest in structure and function of the foot and the influence of musculoskeletal and metabolic pathologies.
During her NHMRC fellowship, Karen spent two years at the University of Salford, UK. Here she developed a reliable method to measure foot muscle morphology using ultrasound. Karen has published 20 original research articles and three book chapters. She has 40 conference papers at national and international scientific meetings, including the Clinical Biomechanics Award address at the 2009 International Society of Biomechanics Congress, and Invited Speaker presentations at the World Congress of Biomechanics in 2010 and 2014.
Her current research aims to determine the pathomechanics of muscle weakness in individuals who have foot problems, and to develop evidence-based intervention strategies to restore foot function in people with foot disorders [Media Release].
© Episode image, Saskia Schubert 2017 with permission