Yi-Ning (Winnie) Wu is an Associate Professor, Scientific Lead in Physiological Measurement at the UMass Lowell NERVE Center

Yi-Ning Wu, Ph.D.

Interim Department Chair, Associate Professor, Scientific Lead in Physiological Measurement, NERVE Center

Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences
Physical Therapy and Kinesiology, NERVE, HEROES, FDC, SCORE
Health and Social Sciences Building - 383


Technology-based Neurorehabilitation, Home-based Rehabilitation and Monitoring Technology, Human and Human-Robot Performance.

Research Interests

Understanding motor control/adaptation and physiological adaption due to injury, intervention or additional augmentation, Technology-based rehabilitation for Persistent Post-Concussive Symptoms


  • Ph D: Institute of Biomedical Engineering, (2007), National Cheng Kung University - Tainan, Taiwan
    Dissertation/Thesis Title: Quantification of Abnormal Muscle Tone in Animal Model and in Clinical Setting.

  • BS: Department of Physical Therapy, (2000), National Cheng Kung University - Tainan, Taiwan


Yi-Ning Wu, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Kinesiology, and the Scientific Lead in Physiological Measurement of the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation (NERVE) Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She received a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy and earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. Before joining the UMass Lowell in 2013, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, now the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab, and in Neuroscience Department at Brown University. She has served as a reviewer for peer-reviewed journals and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Wu and her team receive research support from the state funding, federal grants and the private sector. Her current research focuses on human performance and recovery enhanced through technologies such as personal protection equipment, exoskeletons and novel exercise machines.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • 2015 Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence (2015), Teaching - University of Massachusetts Lowell
  • Sarah Baskin Award for Excellence in Research, 1st place (2010), Scholarship/Research - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Switzer Fellowship Award (2009), Scholarship/Research - National Institute of Disability Research and Rehabilitation (NIDRR), Department of Education
  • Student Travel Scholarship (2007), Scholarship/Research - American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
  • Li Foundation Fellow (2005), Scholarship/Research - Li Foundation
  • Podium Paper Award (2003), Scholarship/Research - Biomedical Engineerinig Society
  • Design of Associative Devices for the Disabled (2002) - TiC100

Selected Publications

  • Xu, D., Wu, Y., Gaebler-Spira, D., Gao, F., Clegg, N.J., Delgado, M.R., Zhang, L.Q. (2020). Neural and non-neural contributions to ankle spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental medicine and child neurology.
  • Wu, Y., Gravel, J., Chatiwala, N., Enis, T., Stark, C., Cantu, R. (2018). Effects of Electrical Stimulation in People with Post-Concussion Syndromes: A Pilot Study. Health, 10(4) 381-395.
  • Kastroba, B., Wu, Y., Kao, P.C., Stark, C., Yen, S., Roh, J. (2018). Muscle activation pattern during self-propelled treadmill walking. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 30(8) 1069-1072.
  • Zhu, Y., Wu, Y., Su, H., Hu, S., Cao, T., Zhang, J., Cao, Y. (2017). Identify Non-fatigue State to Fatigue State Using Causality Measure During Game Play (pp. 581--588).
  • Lydakis, A., Meng, Y., Munroe, C., Wu, Y., Begum, M. (2017). A learning-based agent for home neurorehabilitation. IEEE ... International Conference on Rehabilitation Robotics : [proceedings], 2017 1233-1238.
  • Meng, Y., Munroe, C., Wu, Y., Begum, M. (2016). A learning from demonstration framework to promote home-based neuromotor rehabilitation (pp. 1126--1131).
  • Ren, Y., Wu, Y., Yang, C.Y., Xu, T., Harvey, R., Zhang, L.Q. (2016). Developing a wearable ankle rehabilitation robotic device for in-bed acute stroke rehabilitation. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng.
  • Yen, S.C., Corkery, M.B., Donohoe, A., Grogan, M., Wu, Y. (2016). Feedback and Feedforward Control During Walking in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 46(9) 775-83.
  • Chen, K., Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Liu, L., Gaebler-Spira, D., Tankard, K., Lee, J., Song, W., Wang, M., Zhang, L.Q. (2016). Home-based versus laboratory-based robotic ankle training for children with cerebral palsy: A pilot randomized comparative trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil.
  • Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Tsai, L.C., Gao, F., Zhang, L.Q. (2016). In vivo simultaneous evaluations of sarcomere imaging and muscle fiber tension. J Biomech, 49(5) 797-801.
  • Wu, Y., Hallbourg, K.W., Collins, S.M. (2015). Changes of general fitness and muscle properties following police cadet training. J Phys Ther Sci, 27(9) 2783-6.
  • Wu, Y., Saliu, V., Donoghue, N., Donoghue, J., Kerman, K. (2013). A Home-based massed practice system for pediatric neurorehabilitation. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 3(2) 95-117.
  • Ren, Y., Kang, S.H., Park, H.S., Wu, Y., Zhang, L.Q. (2013). Developing a multi-joint upper limb exoskeleton robot for diagnosis, therapy, and outcome evaluation in neurorehabilitation. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng, 21(3) 490-9.
  • Drobyshevsky, A., Derrick, M., Luo, K., Zhang, L.Q., Wu, Y., Takada, S.H., Yu, L., Tan, S. (2012). Near-term fetal hypoxia-ischemia in rabbits: MRI can predict muscle tone abnormalities and deep brain injury. Stroke, 43(10) 2757-63.
  • Wu, Y., Wilcox, B., Donoghue, J.P., Crisco, J., Kerman, K.L. (2012). The impact of massed practice on children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy: Pilot study of home-based toy play therapy. Journal of medical and biological engineering, 32(5) 331-342.
  • Zhao, H., Wu, Y., Hwang, M., Ren, Y., Gao, F., Gaebler-Spira, D., Zhang, L.Q. (2011). Changes of calf muscle-tendon biomechanical properties induced by passive-stretching and active-movement training in children with cerebral palsy. J Appl Physiol (1985), 111(2) 435-42.
  • Wu, Y., Hwang, M., Ren, Y., Gaebler-Spira, D., Zhang, L.Q. (2011). Combined passive stretching and active movement rehabilitation of lower-limb impairments in children with cerebral palsy using a portable robot. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 25(4) 378-85.
  • Peng, Q., Park, H.S., Shah, P., Wilson, N., Ren, Y., Wu, Y., Liu, J., Gaebler-Spira, D.J., Zhang, L.Q. (2011). Quantitative evaluations of ankle spasticity and stiffness in neurological disorders using manual spasticity evaluator. J Rehabil Res Dev, 48(4) 473-81.
  • Khan, N., Levin, S.D., Domont, Z.B., Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Zhang, L.Q. (2011). Strain effects of placing an arthroscopic portal through the subscapularis tendon. J Shoulder Elbow Surg, 20(1) 33-8.
  • Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Goldsmith, A., Gaebler, D., Liu, S.Q., Zhang, L.Q. (2010). Characterization of spasticity in cerebral palsy: dependence of catch angle on velocity. Dev Med Child Neurol, 52(6) 563-9.
  • Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Hwang, M., Gaebler-Spira, D.J., Zhang, L.Q. (2010). Efficacy of robotic rehabilitation of ankle impairments in children with cerebral palsy. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2010 4481-4.
  • Wu, Y., Ren, Y., Zhang, L.Q. (2010). In vivo sarcomere imaging and fiber tension measurements. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2010 1986-9.
  • Hsieh, T.H., Tsai, J.Y., Wu, Y., Hwang, I.S., Chen, T.I., Chen, J.J. (2010). Time course quantification of spastic hypertonia following spinal hemisection in rats. Neuroscience, 167(1) 185-98.
  • Zhao, H., Wu, Y., Liu, J., Ren, Y., Gaebler-Spira, D.J., Zhang, L.Q. (2009). Changes of calf muscle-tendon properties due to stretching and active movement of children with cerebral palsy–a pilot study. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2009 5287-90.
  • Wu, Y., Chen, J.J., Zhang, L.Q., Hyland, B.I. (2009). Regulation of hind-limb tone by adenosine A2A receptor in rats. Neuroscience, 159(4) 1408-13.
  • Zhao, H., Ren, Y., Wu, Y., Liu, S.Q., Zhang, L.Q. (2009). Ultrasonic evaluations of Achilles tendon mechanical properties poststroke. J Appl Physiol (1985), 106(3) 843-9.
  • Lee, H.M., Chen, J.J., Wu, Y., Wang, Y.L., Huang, S.C., Piotrkiewicz, M. (2008). Time course analysis of the effects of botulinum toxin type a on elbow spasticity based on biomechanic and electromyographic parameters. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 89(4) 692-9.
  • Ren, Y., Park, H., Wu, Y., Geiger, F., Zhang, L.Q. (2008). Training for knee injury prevention using a pivoting elliptical machine. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 2008 727-30.
  • Wu, Y., Hyland, B.I., Chen, J.J. (2007). Biomechanical and electromyogram characterization of neuroleptic-induced rigidity in the rat. Neuroscience, 147(1) 183-96.
  • Wu, Y., Park, H.S., Ren, Y., Gaebler-Spira, D., Chen, J.J., Zhang, L.Q. (2006). Measurement of elbow spasticity in stroke patients using a manual spasticity evaluator. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc, 1 3974-7.
  • Chen, J.J., Wu, Y., Huang, S.C., Lee, H.M., Wang, Y.L. (2005). The use of a portable muscle tone measurement device to measure the effects of botulinum toxin type a on elbow flexor spasticity. Arch Phys Med Rehabil, 86(8) 1655-60.
  • Lin, S.I., Tsai, T.T., Lee, I.H., Wu, Y. (2002). Perception of unsteadiness in patients with dizziness: association with handicap and imbalance. J Biomed Sci, 9(5) 428-35.

Selected Intellectual Property

  • Patent - Zhang, L., Wu, Y., Ren, Y."System and Method of Microscopic Imaging and Soft Tissue Tension Measurements," 7998094 United States

Selected Contracts, Fellowships, Grants and Sponsored Research

  • Towards Biometric Input for Multi-Agent Adaptive Human-Robot Collaboration (2018), Grant - UML-WPI Collaborative Seed Funding Initiative
    Wu, Y. (Co-Investigator), Yanco, H. (Co-Principal), Solovey, E. (Principal)
  • Feasibility of an Artificially Intelligent Home-Based Rehabilitation System for Children with Cerebral Palsy using Wearable Technologies (2016), Grant - University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Wu, Y. (Principal), Begum, M. (Co-Principal)
  • Home-based rehabilitation for children with cerebral palsy using wearable technologies (2016), Grant - IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Special Interest Group on Humanitarian Technology (RAS-SIGHT)
    Wu, Y. (Co-Principal), Begum, M. (Principal)
  • EEL: a novel approach for home monitoring of upper extremity activities using combined EMG, EKG and Limbs motion (2014), Grant - University of Massachusetts Lowell
    Wu, Y. (Principal), Collins, S.M. (Co-Investigator)
  • EV: CLIN 103 – EX5:Mitigating Impacts of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on Wearer Performance via Exoskeleton Integration (2020), Sponsored Research - U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (CCDC) Soldier Center
    Wu, Y. (Principal), Norton, A. (Co-Principal), Yanco, H. (Co-Principal)
  • The effects of the cervical electrical stimulation and aerobic exercise on people with post-concussion syndrome (2016), Sponsored Research - Emerson Hospital
    Wu, Y. (Principal)
  • Method and technology assessment literature review (2014), Contract - Biogen Idec
    Wu, Y. (Principal)
  • Pilot multi-center evaluations of reflex and nonreflex changes in cerebral palsy (2013), Sponsored Research - AACPDM
    Wu, Y. (Principal)
  • The effectiveness of intelligent-stretching followed by Active movement in children with cerebral palsy (2009), Fellowship - National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Department of Education
    Wu, Y. (Principal)