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Na Jin Seo PhD

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  • Associate Professor
  • College of Health Professions
  • Rehabilitation Sciences
Academic Focus
  • Upper Extremity Rehabilitation Following Stroke
  • Rehabilitation Technology Development
  • Recovery Mechanisms
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·       Postdoc Neurorehabilitation, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago & Northwestern University (2009)

·       Ph.D. Industrial Engineering,, University of Michigan (2007)

·       MSE Industrial Engineering, University of Michigan (2005)

·       BS Mechanical Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology (2002)



·       List of publications


Awards & Honors 

·       OT Inventors Showcase, AOTA Annual Conference & Expo, Boston, MA, 2020

·       American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine LaunchPad Finalist, Chicago, IL, 2019

·       MUSC Innovation Week Shark Tank Finalist, 2019

·       Scholar of the Year, MUSC College of Health Professions, 2018

·       I am a MUSC Innovator Award, 2018

·       Innovation Award, Medical University of South Carolina, 2016, 2017

·       Clinical Research Scholars, Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeastern Wisconsin, 2013-2015

·       Hugh Kelly Research Fellowship Award, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa, 2013

·       Millionaires’ Club, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Engineering and Applied Science, 2013

·       Graduate School/UWM Foundation Research Awards, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2012

·       University of Wisconsin Libraries Research Fellows, 2012

·       Switzer Distinguished Research Fellowship Award, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, 2011

·       Judith Stitt Women Faculty Scholar Award, Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, Madison, WI, 2010

·       Employee Development Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 2010

·       Research Fellows Award, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, 2010

·       Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association, 2009

·       Research Fellow Award, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2008

·       2nd place, Poster Presentation Competition, “How to open a jar”, University of Michigan, MI, 2006

·       Korea Science and Engineering Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 2003-2005

·       University of Michigan Graduate Fellowship, 2003-2008

·       General Electric (GE) Scholarship, 2001-2002

·       Winner, Pohang University of Science & Technology Research Competition, “Mechanical design of an automatic toothbrush for people without hands or people with upper limb paresis”, 2001

·       2nd place, International Intelligent Robot Contest, “Development of an intelligent robot controlled by eye and facial movements”, 2000

·       Silver medal, South Korean National Invention Competition, “User-friendly one-size-fits-all battery socket”, 1998


Select Grants

·       NIH/NICHD R01 Concomitant sensory stimulation during therapy to enhance hand functional recovery post stroke (Principal Investigator) 2020-2025

·       VA Merit I01 Novel training environment to normalize altered finger force direction post stroke (Principal Investigator) 2019-2023

·       NIH/NIGMS P20 Neuroplasticity Associated with Extended Daily Use of a Sensorimotor Priming Vibration System to Improve Hand Function After Stroke (Project I Principal Investigator) 2019-2024

·       NIH/NICHD R01 Altering Activation Patterns in the Distal Upper Extremity After Stroke (Subaward PI, Primary: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab) 2014-2019

·       NIH/NICHD R41S I-Corps at NIH (Principal Investigator) 2018

·       NIH/NICHD STTR R41 TheraBracelet: The First and Only Wearable to Instantly Improve Stroke Hand Function (Principal Investigator) 2017-2018

·       NIH/NIGMS U54 pilot project, Brain functional connectivity & sensory stimulation-enhanced therapy post stroke (Principal Investigator) 2018

·       NIH/NIGMS P20 pilot project, Sensory Stimulation to Enhance Hand Function Post Stroke (Principal Investigator) 2015-2017

·       PCORI Pipeline to Proposal, Partnership for physical rehabilitation post stroke (Principal Investigator) 2015-2016

·       CDC/NIOSH R21 Quantifying the Recovery Response and the Role of Hand Strength during Ladder Falls (Principal Investigator) 2012-2015

·       NIH/NICHD R24 pilot project, Development of a Low-Cost Computerized Clinical Assessment Tool for Movement Quality (Principal Investigator) 2014-2016

·       NIH/NICHD R24 pilot project, Improving Assistive Gloves for Stroke Survivors Using Dynamic Biomechanical Models and Optimization (Principal Investigator) 2012-2014

·       American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant, Delays in Muscle Relaxation: A Novel Approach to Neuromechanism-based Stroke Rehabilitation (Principal Investigator) 2011-2016

·       DoE/NIDRR, Role of Sensation and Sensory Stimulation to Improve Hand Grip in Persons with Stroke (Principal Investigator) 2011-2013



·       Wearable device for improving tactile sensitivity. US Patent No. US 10,071,015 (Issued 2018)

·       Copyrightable mobile application (2018)

·       Improvement on Calibration using Universal Amplitudes for Remote Sensory Noise. Provisional Patent Application 62/754,816 (2018)



·       OTD 837 Scholarship III

·       OTD 836 Scholarship II

·       OTD 835 Scholarship I

·       OTD 815 Evidence Based Practice I (2 credits)

·       OT 667 Evidence Based Practice I (2 credits)

·       OT 561 Research and Scholarship Experience I (1 credit)

·       OT 562 Research and Scholarship Experience II (2 credits)

·       HRS 800 Translational Research (3 credits)

·       IND ENG 890 Neuromechanics (3 credits)

·       IND ENG 783 Advanced Ergonomics in Upper Extremity (3 credits)

·       IND ENG 467 Introductory Statistics for Physical Sciences and Engineering (3 credits)

·       IND ENG 360 Engineering Economics (3 credits)

·       BME 422 Mathematical Methods for Biomedical Engineers (3 credits)

·       IOE 333 Ergonomics lecture (3 credits)

·       IOE 334 Ergonomics laboratory (1 credit)


Student Mentoring

·       Mentored 9 postdoctoral scholars, 7 PhD students, and 10 masters thesis students

·       Extramural Fellowships/Grants:

o   Predoctoral Fellowships, NIH NCAT SCTR TL1

§  Amanda Vatinno (PhD student) 2019-2020

§  Corey Morrow (PhD student) 2020-2021

o   Predoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association, Leah Enders (PhD student) 2012-2013

o   American Society of Biomechanics Grant-in-Aid

§  Leah Enders (PhD student) 2012-2013

§  Binal Motawar (PhD student) 2013-2014

o   Postdoc grants, CDC/NIOSH

§  Pilwon Hur (postdoctoral fellow) 2011-2012

§  Greg Slota (postdoctoral fellow) 2013-2014

o   Postdoctoral Fellowship, American Heart Association, Pilwon Hur (postdoctoral fellow) 2012-2014

o   Undergraduate Research Fellowship, American Heart Association

§  Alek Brandenburg (undergraduate) 2012

§  Jerome Scott (undergraduate) 2012

·       OTJR Editorial Fellowship, Amanda Vatinno (PhD student), 2020-2022

·       NSF Travel Award, Amanda Vatinno (PhD student), Progress in Motor Control, Penn State University, PA, 2018

·       World Congress of Biomechanics, Student Paper Competition Finalist, Marcella Kosmopoulos (undergrad student), 2014

·       American Society of Biomechanics Travel Award, Leah Enders (PhD student), 2013; Binal Motawar (PhD student), 2014

·       IEEE Larry Hause Student Poster Competition 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, Leah Enders, Daniel Lomo-Tettey, and Binal Moawar (PhD students), 2012; 3rd place, Kishor Lakshminarayanan (PhD student), 2014

·       Dean’s Fellowship, Kishor Lakshminarayanan (PhD student) 2013-2017

·       Distinguished Dissertation Fellowship, Leah Enders (PhD student) 2013-2014

·       MUSC Research Day Awards:

o   1st place for the MUSC Research Day, Interprofessional Award, Oral, Amanda Vatinno (PhD student) 2020

o   1st place for the MUSC Research Day, Oral, Clinical Professional II, Amanda Vatinno (PhD student), 2020

o   2nd place for the MUSC Research Day, Poster, Clinical Professional III, Laura Judy (OTD student), 2020

o   2nd place for the MUSC Research Day, PostDoc/Resident/Fellow/Staff Scientist I Category, Changki Kim, PhD (postdoc) 2019

o   2nd place for the MUSC Research Day, Clinical Professional Masters II Category, Emma McCarthy (MS OT student) 2019

o   1st place for the MUSC Research Day, Center on Aging Award for Excellence in Aging Research, Amanda Vatinno (PhD student) 2019

o   2nd place in Basic/Clinical Category Clinical/Proefssional/Masters III, Hannah Cox (MS OT student) 2018

o   Innovation Award, Caroline Roark (MS OT student) 2017

o   Innovation Award, Ryan Downey (postdoctoral fellow) 2016

o   1st place in Clinical-Professional-Masters Social/Behavioral Science, Sara Atkinson (MS OT student) 2015


University Service

·       CHP Diversity and Inclusion Committee 2020-

·       CHP Awards and Recognition Committee 2019-2020

·       MUSC Foundation for Research Development Faculty Advisory Committee 2019-

·       MUSC Faculty Senate 2018-2020

·       MUSC Institutional Advancement Committee 2018-current

·       MUSC IP Day Facilitator 2019

·       CHP Research Council 2015-current

·       CHP Nomination Committee 2017-2018

·       South Carolina Aging Research Day Invited Speaker & Poster Judge, Columbia SC 2017

·       CHP Work Life Balance Task Force 2016

·       CHP Scholarship Committee 2015-2016

·       MUSC Research Day Judge 2015-2016

·       AHEC Summer Careers Academy CHP Research Tour 2017-2018

·       Maralynne E. Mitcham Lectureship and Alumni Luncheon Adult CEU lecture 2017; CHP Research Tour 2017-2019


Professional Service

·       Associate Editor, Student Paper Competition, 2019 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference, Berlin, Germany.

·       Editorial Board, Applied Ergonomics

·       Editorial Board, Frontiers in Neurorobotics

·       Peer reviewer for 45+ journals including IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng, J Neuroeng Rehabil, Exp Brain Res, Front Hum Neurosci

·       NIH review panel, alternative Chair 2020, 2021

·       Grant reviewer for NIH review panels for NIH SBIR/STTR, NRSA Fellowships, and R15

·       Grant reviewer for NSF and VA

·       Grant reviewer for American Occupational Therapy Foundation and New Zealand Ministry of Business

·       Education Committee, American Society of Neurorehabilitation

·       Technical Committee, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

·       Guest speaker, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital Stroke Support Group Meeting and Young Stroke Survivor Support Group Education Meeting