Richard E. Debski, PhD

Dr. Richard Debski is a Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh and holds a secondary appointment in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery.  Dr. Debski is the Co-Director of the Orthopaedic Robotics Laboratory, a core laboratory facility in the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering.  Dr. Debski earned both his BS and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Debski’s research interests focus on orthopaedic biomechanics and are aimed at elucidating the contribution of ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bone to joint stability throughout the musculoskeletal system. Specifically, experimental and computational analyses are performed to:

  • examine the properties of the ligaments, tendons, and joint capsules
  • determine ligament forces and joint kinematics
  • evaluate the effect of injuries and repair procedures on joint motion

Novel experimental techniques such as a robotic testing system and Shoulder Testing Apparatus rev.4 are utilized to answer research questions. Recent major projects have focused on:

  • improvement of diagnoses and repair procedures for injuries to the glenohumeral capsules and rotator cuff at the shoulder
  • improvement of rehabilitation for rotator cuff injuries
  • development of diagnostic and repair procedures to address rotatory knee instability
  • robotic technology for biomechanical testing

In 2011, Dr. Debski received the Richard Skalak Award for the best paper published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineering DivisionDr. Debski is the 2006 recipient of the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award – Junior Scholar, University of Pittsburgh, as well as the 2004 Y.C. Fung Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Bioengineering Division. He is an Assistant Editor of the Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery; member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Orthopaedic Science, Techniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, and Journal of Orthopaedic Research. Dr. Debski is a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers.  He is a member of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the Orthopaedic Research Society.

View a list of Dr. Debski’s publications here.