Clinical Ageing Research Unit

Staff Profiles

Dr Silvia Del Din

Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellow; Innovation, Methodology and Application (IMA) ECR representative

Background

Background

I received my Bachelor's Degree in Information Engineering in 2006 from the University of Padova (Italy) under the Supervision of Prof. Claudio Cobelli and my Master's Degree (cum laude) in Bioengineering in 2008 from the University of Padova ("Biomechanical analysis of swimmers through markerless motion capture." Supervisor: Ch.mo Prof. Claudio Cobelli, Co-advisor: Dr. Elena Ceseracciu).

In 2012 I completed my PhD in Bioengineering (Area of the Information Engineering PhD School) at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova, under the supervision of Prof. Chiara Dalla Man ("Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors: Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors.").

From February 2012 until August 2012 I have been a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Department of Information Engineering of the University of Padova.

Since September 2012 I have been working at the Translational and Clinical Research Institute of Newcastle University in the Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group.

From July 2021, I am a Newcastle Unviersity Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellow, my vision is to enhance remote clinical management by using digital health tools and developing integrated, real-time analytics.

Areas of expertise: Digital Health, Wearable Technology, Digital Mobility Outcomes, Gait, Signal Processing, Neurodegenerative diseases, Ageing, Biomedical Engineering.

ResearchGate Profile

Google Scholar Profile

Education and Training

2018
UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship (Level D2)

2009-2011
PhD at the PhD School of Information Engineering (XIV Cycle, Bioengineering area), Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova (Italy) Title of the Thesis: "Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors:
Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors."
Head: Prof. Matteo Bertocco, Supervisor: Prof. Chiara Dalla Man

2008
Master's Degree in Bioengineering - Laurea Specialistica in Bioingegneria, University of Padova (Italy)

2008
Professional Practice Exam for Engineers - Qualified Engineer (Esame di Stato per la Professione di Ingegnere), University of Padova (Italy)

2006
Bachelor's Degree in Information Engineering - Laurea Triennale in Ingegneria dell'Informazione, University of Padova (Italy)

Experience abroad

October 2010- September 2011:
Harvard Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Motion analysis Laboratory of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston (MA) USA.
I have been part of the Motion Analysis Laboratory team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston in order to carry on my PhD research, under the supervision of Prof. Paolo Bonato. I have been involved in a rehabilitation project of stroke patients, based on the use of wearable sensors: the goal is to use accelerometers for gathering quantitative measures of movement quality, providing accurate assessments to guide the rehabilitation process. Models based on features extracted from wearable sensor data should be useful to accurately predict some clinical scores.

Funding & Awards

2020

  • PI: Medical Research Council (MRC) Confidence in Concept (CiC) funding - "Translating digital healthcare to enhance clinical management: evaluating the effect of medication on mobility in people with PD through remote monitoring tools" (£80,983).

2019

  • Co-applicant: Global Challenges Academy: Rapid Response Call - Use of wearable sensors for measuring walking activity in low-to-middle income countries (Tanzania), Newcastle Unversity (£4,490). 
  • Co-applicant: European Innovative  Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI) - IDEA-FAST: "Identifying digital endpoints to assess fatigue, sleep and activities of daily living in neurodegenerative disorders and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases" (50 million Euros). 
  • Winner of the Wellcome Trust Broadening Our Horizon Scheme (ISFF-ISB) (£1,223).
  • Winner of  the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Travel Award (£500).
  • Winner of the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO) International Travel Grant (£770 (900 Euros)).
  • Winner of the Wellcome Trust Broadening Our Horizon Scheme (ISSF-ISPGR) (£1,082).

2018

  • Co-applicant: European Innovative  Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking (IMI) - Mobilise-D: "Connecting digital mobility assessment to clinical outcomes for regulatory and clinical endorsement" (50 million Euros).
  • Winner of the Wellcome Trust Broadening Our Horizon Scheme (ISSF-MDS) (£1,280).
  • Winner of the Wellcome Trust Broadening Our Horizon Scheme (ISSF-WCB) (£1,338).
  • Winner of  the International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society (MDS) Congress Travel Grant (£610 ($800)).
  • Awarded the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowship (Level D2).

2017

  • Newcastle University Business Voucher - Project in collaboration with CasCom Ltd - VetSens (£4,000).
  • Stroke Association - Co-PI: "Development and clinical trial feasibility evaluation of auditory rhythmical cueing to improve gait and physical activity in community dwelling stroke survivors (ACTIVATE)" (£207,511).
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Research Travel Fund (£200).
  • Winner of the Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (£1,000).
  • Winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Travel Award (£500).

2016

  • PI: Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA) Early Career Researcher Funding: "Effect of medication on habitual gait in people with PD: a feasibility study" (£5,776).

2015

  • Co-PI: Newcastle University Institute for Ageing (NUIA) Responsive Mode: "A feasibility study of instrumented fall detection within the ICICLE-Gait cohort"  (£5,000).
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS) Research Travel Fund (£200).
  • Winner of the Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (£700).
  • Winner of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Travel Award (£500).

2012 

  • Winner of the “Prof. Sergio Gambi Award 2012- Second Edition” (5,000 Euros) for PhD thesis related to an original research, preferably on a disability related topic, with possible theoretical and technological applications, with the PhD Thesis: "Innovative Techniques for Biomechanical Evaluation of Stroke Survivors: Combined fMRI-Gait Analysis Assessment and Fugl-Meyer Clinical Scores Estimation Through Wearable Sensors." Head: Ch.mo Prof. Matteo Bertocco, Supervisor: Prof. Chiara Dalla Man.

Prof. Sergio Gambi Award 2012   

2010

Winner of the BTS Bioengineering/SIMFER Award for the best scientific contribution on the evaluated functional analysis of the movement applied to the rehabilitation through robotic instruments.  (17th PRM Congress – 38° Congresso Nazionale: European Rehabilitation: Quality, Evidence, Efficacy and Effectiveness, Lido di Venezia 2010), with the study:   E. Carraro, Z. Sawacha, S. Del Din, F. Spolaor, A. Guiotto, A. R. Gravina, R. Guglielmin, C. Cobelli, S. Masiero. (2010) Abnormal activation of knee and ankle flexors-extensors is related to altered gait in ankylosing spondylitis? European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, 46, Suppl. 1, n° 2: 105.    

Memberships

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Institution of Engineering and Technology (MIET)

International Society of Posture and Gait Research (ISPGR)

International Society for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour (ISMPB)

 


Research

Research Interests

I am a Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellow.

I collaborate with the Brain and Movement (BAM) Research Group at the Translational and Clinical Research Institute of Newcastle University.

My expertise and translational research interests focus on digital health. In particular, I am interested in the use of wearable technology and in developing analytics for quantification of digital mobility outcomes in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Parkinson's disease), to enhance remote monitoring and clinical management.

I am currently involved in various clinical trials and digital health projects including Mobilise-D. Mobilise-D aims at connecting digital mobility assessment to clinical outcomes for regulatory and clinical endorsement. The project is funded by the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 820820. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and EFPIA.

Peer Reviews

Associate Editor for the IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (IEEE-JBHI). 

Review Editor on the Editorial Board of Movement Disorders part of Frontiers in Neurology.

I have reviewed scientific papers for the following peer-reviewed Journals:

  1. Gait & Posture
  2. IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
  3. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
  4. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing
  5. Medical Engineering & Physics
  6. Movement Disorders
  7. Neural Regeneration Research
  8. Part H Journal of Engineering in Medicine
  9. Physiological Measurement
  10. Sensors
  11. Applied Sciences
  12. PLOS ONE
  13. Digital Health
  14. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
  15. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
  16. Journal of Neuroscience Methods
  17. Journals of Gerontology: Medical Sciences
  18. Journal of Parkinson's Disease

I have been a reviewer for the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Chilean National Science and Technology Commission (CONICYT - Chile).

I served as External Reviewer and Examiner for three PhD candidates (Polytechnic University of Madrid, Sapienza University of Rome and University of Salford).


Teaching

Teaching 

Fellow of the UK Professional Standards Framework (UKPSF) Higher Education Academy (HEA) - Level D2 (teaching qualification).

Teaching:

University of Padova

  • Biological Signal Processing (Elaborazione di segnali biologici) 2008/2009 (Prof. Maria Gianna Toffolo)
  • Biological Signal Processing (Elaborazione di segnali biologici) 2009/2010 (Prof. Maria Gianna Toffolo)
  • Bioengineering of Rehabilitation and Movement (Bioingegneria del movimento e riabilitazione) 2009/2010 (Prof. Chiara Dalla Man)
  • Bioengineering of Movement (Bioingegneria del Movimento) for resident physicians in Orthopaedic and Traumatology 2011/2012 (Prof. Claudio Cobelli)

Newcastle University

  • Module SES2005: Applied Biomechanics - Matlab 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 (Lecturer)
  • ITN Keep Control - Summer School 2019 - "The good, the bad and the controllable sides of ageing" (22-26/07/2019, Atheens, Greece) - Silvia Del Din: Biomechanical Signal Processing (22/07/2019)
Supervision

Supervisor for: UG or PGT students (JobsOC placement), UG students (Medical School), MSc students (School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering - SEEE), 5 PhD students (EPSRC CDT, European Union Horizon 2020 Innovative Training Network (ITN) KEEP CONTROL - Marie Skłodowska-Curie program, Mobilise-D, New Zealand AWESSoM Study, MRC DiMeN DTP).

Publications