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50th Robert D. Klein University Lecture

“The Wonder of Human Movement: How the Brain Controls the Body”

by Dagmar Sternad,

Professor of Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Physics and Klein Lecturer, 2014.


In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Robert D. Klein University Lectureship, Dagmar Sternad, Professor of Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics, has been selected as this year’s Robert D. Klein University Lecturer.  Professor Sternad’s talk, “The Wonder of Human Movement: How the Brain Controls the Body,” will be delivered at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in the Raytheon Amphitheater.

The Klein University Lecturer Award established in 1964, upon the recommendation of the Faculty Senate, honors a member of the teaching faculty who has contributed with distinction to his or her own field of study.  The University Lecture enables that faculty member to share the fruits of that scholarship with the University community and the general public.  In 1979, the award was renamed in tribute to the late Robert D. Klein, professor of mathematics, chairman of the Faculty Senate Agenda Community, and vice chairman of the Faculty Senate.

Dagmar Sternad is an internationally known authority in the field of experimental and computational motor neuroscience.  Her academic career has been diverse, spanning the disciplines of movement science, English linguistics and literature, experimental psychology, neuroscience and kinesiology, leading her to Northeastern in 2008 as Professor of Biology, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Physics.  Her studies of human motor control and learning shed light on neurological defects in Parkinson patients, children with dystonia, and individuals who have suffered strokes.  Her interdisciplinary research has been published in five popular books and over 100 peer-reviewed articles in highly regarded publications such as Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Neurophysiology, Computational Biology, Physics Review E, and Journal of Experimental Psychology. 

Professor Sternad is director of the Action Lab; her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association and the Office of Naval Research, among others.  She is Co-PI on a NSF-funded STEM education grant: PRISM: Attracting students to Mathematics, Physics and Biology through interdisciplinary research and discovery.  In addition, she founded the “Boston Action Club” in 2008, a highly successful seminar series that brings together faculty and students from Boston area universities.  She is Executive Editor of Journal of Motor Behavior, Associate Editor of Neuroscience for Kids, a member of the Editorial Board of Biomathematics and a regular member of NIH Study Section on Motor Function, Speech and Rehabilitation.  She has served on numerous department, college and university committees here at Northeastern.

Professor Sternad was awarded a BA with highest honors in 1986 in Movement Science and English Linguistics/Literature from Technical University of Munich, Germany; an MS in 1991 in Experimental Psychology from the University of Connecticut; and received a PhD, summa cum laude, in Experimental Psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1995.

A reception will be held after the lecture in 440 Egan.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Egan Research Center, Raytheon Amphitheatre
120 Forsyth Street, Boston, MA, Boston

Event Type



COS, Biology, Physics, COE, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sponsoring Organization

Office of the Provost

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Jefferson Cardoso

Jefferson Cardoso left a positive review 4/8/2014

Simply outstanding. As a Brazilian Fulbright Visiting Researcher and Physical Therapist in the Dep. of Physical Therapy, Movement, and Rehabilitation Sciences, I could not have a better start at NEU. Congratulations and hope to have a possible chat with her about to some research in this area. Prof. Jefferson R. Cardoso, PT, PhD.