Professor Carlo John De Luca: in Memoriam

22 September 2016

The Working Group in Motor Control is saddened by the death of its distinguished founder, Professor Carlo John De Luca, who passed away on July 20, 2016. A pioneer in the use of muscle recordings (Electromyography) for the study of human movement, he is recognized for introducing engineering principles to the field of Neurophysiology and for combining principles of Motor Control with the fundamentals of Biomechanics. His research has made breakthroughs on the frontiers of neuromuscular control, signal processing, and electromyographic sensor technology. Like Galileo Galilei, Professor De Luca challenged the status quo, with the understanding that empirical methods prevail over ideology to withstand the test of time. His accomplishments are well recognized: he was recently appointed a Fellow of the International Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology (ISEK 2016), he received the 2012 Borelli Award (American Society of Biomechanics), and was invited to give the 1993 Wartenweiler Memorial Lecture (International Society of Biomechanics).

Professor De Luca believed strongly in the need to bridge Motor Control and Biomechanics to advance research in these fields. Thanks to his efforts, the Working Group in Motor Control was established as a Seed Group affiliated with the International Society of Biomechanics (ISB) at the XXIV Congress of ISB in Natal (Brazil), in 2013. It was later recognized as a Working Group of ISB at the XXV Congress of ISB in Glasgow in 2015.

Although saddened by the passing of Professor De Luca, we remain committed to the goal of fostering the interest in scientific work that bridges the fields of Motor Control and Biomechanics. The Working Group in Motor Control will continue to honor Professor De Luca’s legacy, provide a forum to highlight research at the intersection of Motor Control and Biomechanics, and offer opportunities for both young and established investigators to interact and advance research in these fields.

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