Alexander Bruno
Alexander Bruno, Ph.D.
Associate
Biomechanics
  • Philadelphia

Dr. Bruno addresses issues involving the biomechanics of injuries, with expertise in the areas of human injury tolerance, injury mechanics, and multi-body dynamics. At Exponent, Dr. Bruno evaluates injury mechanisms and injury potential in motor vehicle, sporting, and industrial accidents. His current research involves the development of computational biomechanical models that utilize medical imaging data to investigate musculoskeletal loading and injury potential. Specifically, Dr. Bruno is investigating the etiology of age-related vertebral fractures through the use of high-resolution imaging combined with patient-specific musculoskeletal modeling. He is the developer and manager of an open-source musculoskeletal model of the full thoracolumbar spine and rib cage that is freely available to the biomechanics community via SimTK.org, a website managed by the National Institutes of Health Center for Biomedical Computing.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Bruno was a researcher at the Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School. He received his Ph.D. in Medical Engineering and Bioastronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where his studies focused on engineering mechanics, human physiology and medicine, and aerospace biomedical engineering/human factors. During his graduate studies, Dr. Bruno was awarded fellowships from the National Institutes of Health and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Additionally, he worked as a research assistant at the NASA Johnson Space Center where his research was focused on the risk of brain and spine injury during spacecraft landings. During his graduate studies, Dr. Bruno also worked at the West Roxbury VA Healthcare System as a clinical intern in the Spinal Cord Injury Unit.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2015
  • B.E., Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University Honors College, 2009, summa cum laude
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) – National Institutes of Health

    Harvard-MIT Martinos Scholar

    Harvard-NIH Training Grant for Translational Research in Aging (T32)

    National Space Biomedical Research Institute Pre-Doctoral Fellow

    Chancellor’s Award from the State University of New York

Publications

Bachmann KN, Bruno AG, Bredella, MA, Schorr M, Lawson EA, Gill CM, Singhal V, Meenaghan E, Gerweck AV, Eddy KT, Ebrahimi S, Koman SL, Greenblatt JM, Keane RJ, Weigel T, Dechant E, Misra M. Klibanski A, Bouxsein ML, Miller KK. Vertebral strength and estimated fracture risk across the BMI spectrum in women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015 Aug; in press.

Xiangjie M, Bruno AG, Bo C, Wenjun W, Bouxsein ML, Anderson DE. Incorporating six degree-of-freedom intervertebral joint stiffness in a lumbar spine musculoskeletal model-method and performance in flexed postures. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 2015; 137(10).

Bruno AG, Bouxsein ML, Anderson DE. Development and validation of a novel musculoskeletal model of the fully articulated thoracolumbar spine and rib cage. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 2015; 137(8):081003-1 10.

Bruno AG, Broe KE, Zhang X, Samelson EJ, Meng C, Manoharan R, D’Agostino J, Cupples LA, Kiel DP, Bouxsein ML. Vertebral size, bone density, and strength in men and women matched for age and areal spine BMD. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2014; 29(3):562–569.

Anderson DE, Demissie S, Allaire BT, Bruno AG, Kopperdahl DL, Keaveny TM, Kiel DP, Bouxsein ML. The associations between QCT-based vertebral bone measurements and prevalent vertebral fractures depend on the spinal locations of both bone measurement and fracture. Osteoporosis International 2014; 25(2):559–566.

Anderson DE, D’Agostino JM, Bruno AG, Demissie S, Kiel DP, Bouxsein ML. Variations of CT-based trunk muscle attenuation by age, sex, and specific muscle. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 2013; 68(3):317–323.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D'Agostino J, Bouxsein ML. The effect of thoracic kyphosis and sagittal plane alignment on vertebral compressive loading. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2012; 27(10):2144–2151.

Anderson DE, D'Agostino J, Bruno AG, Manoharan RK, Bouxsein ML. Regressions for estimating muscle parameters in the thoracic and lumbar trunk for use in musculoskeletal modeling. Journal of Biomechanics 2012; 45:66–75.

Book Chapters


Anderson DE, Bruno AG, Bouxsein ML. Biomechanics of Hip and Vertebral Fractures. In: Osteoporosis, Fourth Edition. Marcus R, Feldman D, Dempster DW, Luckey M, and Cauley JA (eds), Volume 1, Academic Press, pp. 497–516, 2013.

Conference Abstracts

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, Meng XJ, Bouxsein ML. A realistic musculoskeletal model of the thoracolumbar spine and ribcage produces spinal loading patterns that may help explain the non-uniform distribution of vertebral fractures along the spine. Poster presentation, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Houston, TX, September 2014.

Bruno AG, Bouxsein ML, Anderson DE. Development of a new OpenSim Spine model to determine the influence of the ribs and sternum on estimates of thoracic and lumbar vertebral loading. Poster presentation, World Congress of Biomechanics, Boston, MA, July 2014.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, Bouxsein ML. Development of a musculoskeletal model for estimation of in vivo spine loading. Poster presentation, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 2014.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, Allaire BT, De Paolis Kaluza MC, Kiel DP, Samelson EJ, Bouxsein ML. Thoracic vertebral fracture is associated with a localized increase in spine curvature at the fracture site that exceeds the observed increases in global thoracic kyphosis. Poster presentation, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Baltimore, MD, October 2013.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, Bouxsein ML. Normal variation in muscle size and spinal curvature has a profound impact on in vivo estimates of spinal loading. Poster presentation, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 2013.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D’Agostino JM, Bouxsein ML. The effect of thoracic kyphosis and sagittal plane alignment on vertebral compressive loading. Poster presentation, American Society of Biomechanics, Gainesville, FL, August 2012.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D’Agostino JM, Bouxsein ML. The effect of thoracic kyphosis and sagittal plane alignment on vertebral compressive loading. Poster presentation, NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Houston, TX, February 2012.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D’Agostino JM, Bouxsein ML. Fracture-induced changes to spinal curvature increase the risk of future vertebral fracture. Poster presentation, Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA, November 2011.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D’Agostino JM, Bouxsein ML. Vertebral fracture location influences risk of future vertebral fracture. Poster presentation, American Society of Biomechanics, Long Beach, CA, August 2011.

Bruno AG, Anderson DE, D’Agostino J, Bouxsein ML. Hyperkyphosis induced by vertebral fracture increases compressive loads on the vertebrae more than kyphosis induced by degenerative changes. Oral presentation, GRIBOI Conference, Boston, MA, April 2011.


Prior Experience

Researcher Assistant, Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, 2009–2015

Clinical Intern, West Roxbury VA Healthcare System, Summer 2013

Research Assistant, NASA Johnson Space Center, Occupant Protection Team, Summer 2010

Professional Affiliations

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 2015
  • B.E., Biomedical Engineering, Stony Brook University Honors College, 2009, summa cum laude
  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (F31) – National Institutes of Health

    Harvard-MIT Martinos Scholar

    Harvard-NIH Training Grant for Translational Research in Aging (T32)

    National Space Biomedical Research Institute Pre-Doctoral Fellow

    Chancellor’s Award from the State University of New York