Rita M. Patterson

Director of Research | Professor
Family and Osteopathic Medicine

Doctor of Philosophy,  Biomedical Science,  Univ Of Texas-Med Branch, Galv,  TX    
Master of Engineering,  Biomedical Engineering,  Texas A&M University,  TX    
Bachelor of Science,  Engineering Science,  Baylor University,  TX

Rita Patterson is the Director of research for the Department of Manipulative Medicine, the director of the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Physical Medicine Core Research Facility and tenured Professor in the Department of Manipulative Medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas.  

Dr. Patterson is a Biomedical Engineer with degrees from Baylor University, Texas A&M University, and The University of Texas Medical Branch.  She completed training for her masters at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Crippled Children in Dallas, Texas where she gained interest in Orthopaedic applications involving Bioengineering.  Between 1987 and 2007, she worked with surgeons in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston Texas, towards solving Biomechanic/Orthopaedic problems specifically in the wrist.  In 2007, she came to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to direct the Human Performance/Biomechanics core lab in the Physical Medicine Institute.  

The lab is devoted to improving knowledge of musculoskeletal function in order to assist physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of medical problems. The goals include improved clinical measurements of biomechanical function, objective methods of evaluation, treatment, and therapy, and mathematical/computer models of muscle, joint, and bone mechanics. Her main research focus has been in collaborations with hand surgeons and therapists investigating the biomechanics of the wrist and upper extremity. She has used her knowledge of engineering tools and experience in the wrist and applied them to projects in the spine and knee joints as well as a multitude of other projects designed to increase knowledge about the human musculoskeletal system. Her current research interests include the investigation of joint kinematics using a virtual reality environment. The Caren system (Motek Medical Inc.) is a state-of-the-art Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment Network that integrates traditional instrumentation of investigating posture and gait with a virtual reality environment.

She has over 60 peer reviewed journal articles is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Hand Surgery and a grant reviewer for NIH.  Her professional affiliations include the American Society of Mechanical engineers (A.S.M.E.), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (I.E.E.E.), the Orthopaedic Research Society, and the International Wrist Investigator's Workshop.   Along with her clinical colleagues, she has trained 14 foreign research fellows as well as numerous medical students and residents.