Alexander Bruno
Alexander Bruno, Ph.D.
Manager
Biomechanics
Natick

Dr. Bruno addresses issues involving the biomechanics of human injury. His work includes analysis of human motion, loading, and injury mechanisms during vehicular, heavy equipment, recreational, and occupational accidents, as well as biomechanical evaluations of consumer products and protective equipment. Dr. Bruno’s research activities include studies of occupant kinematics and injury potential in automotive and heavy equipment accidents, development of computational biomechanical models to investigate musculoskeletal loading and injury potential, and biomechanical studies of automated vehicle technologies. During his dissertation work at MIT, Dr. Bruno investigated 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 MIT, 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., Medical Engineering and Bioastronautics, 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

Bruno A., Toney-Bolger M., George J., Koller J., Filatov A., Olberding J. “Evaluation of occupant kinematics in low- to moderate-speed frontal and rear-end motor vehicle collisions.” SAE Technical Paper (2019-01-1226), 2019.

Pasquesi S.A., Bruno A., Courtney A., Imler S.M., Smedley J., Prange M.T. “Risk of concussion in low- to moderate-speed frontal and rear-end motor vehicle collisions evaluated using head acceleration-based metrics.” SAE Technical Paper (2019-01-1218), 2019.

Filatov A., Scanlon J.M., Bruno A., Danthurthi S.S.K., Fisher J. “Effects of innovation in automated vehicles on occupant compartment designs, evaluation, and safety: A review of public marketing, literature, and standards.” SAE Technical Paper (2019-01-1223), 2019.

Burkhart K.A., Bruno A.G., Bouxsein M.L., Bean J.F., Anderson D.E. “Estimating apparent maximum muscle stress of trunk extensor muscles in older adults using subject-specific musculoskeletal models.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research 2018; 36(1): 498-505.

Bruno A.G., Burkhart K., Allaire B., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “Spinal loading patterns from biomechanical modeling explain the high incidence of vertebral fractures in the thoracolumbar region.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2017; 32(6): 1282-1290.

Bruno A.G., Mokhtarzadeh H., Allaire B.T., Velie K.R., De Paolis Kaluza M.C., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “Incorporation of CT-based measurements of trunk anatomy into subject-specific musculoskeletal models of the spine influences vertebral loading predictions.” Journal of Orthopaedic Research 2017; 35(10): 2164-2173.

Allaire B.T., DePaolis Kaluza M.C., Bruno A.G., Samelson E.J., Kiel D.P., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “Evaluation of a new approach to compute intervertebral disc height measurements from lateral radiographic views of the spine.” European Spine Journal 2017; 26(1): 167-172.

Bachmann K.N., Schorr M., Bruno A.G., Bredella M.A., Lawson E.A., Gill C.M., Singhal V., Meenaghan E., Gerweck A.V., Slattery M., Eddy K.T., Ebrahimi S., Koman S.L., Greenblatt J.M., Keane R.J., Weigel T., Misra M., Bouxsein M.L., Klibanski A., Miller K.K. “Vertebral volumetric bone density and strength are impaired in women with low-weight and atypical anorexia nervosa.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 2016; 102(1): 57-68.

Bachmann K.N., Bruno A.G., Bredella M.A., Schorr M., Lawson E.A., Gill C.M., Singhal V., Meenaghan E., Gerweck A.V., Eddy K.T., Ebrahimi S., Koman S.L., Greenblatt J.M., Keane R.J., Weigel T., Dechant E., Misra M., Klibanski A., Bouxsein M.L., Miller K.K. “Vertebral strength and estimated fracture risk across the BMI spectrum in women.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2016; 31(2): 281-288.

Xiangjie M., Bruno A.G., Bo C., Wenjun W., Bouxsein M.L., Anderson D.E. “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 A.G., Bouxsein M.L., Anderson D.E. “Development and validation of a novel musculoskeletal model of the fully articulated thoracolumbar spine and rib cage.” Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 2015; 137(8).

Bruno A.G., Broe K.E., Zhang X., Samelson E.J., Meng C., Manoharan R., D'Agostino J., Cupples L.A., Kiel D.P., Bouxsein M.L. “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 D.E., Demissie S., Allaire B.T., Bruno A.G., Kopperdahl D.L., Keaveny T.M., Kiel D.P., Bouxsein M.L. “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 D.E., D'Agostino J.M., Bruno A.G., Demissie S., Kiel D.P., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J., Bouxsein M.L. “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 D.E., D'Agostino J., Bruno A.G., Manoharan R.K., Bouxsein M.L. “Regressions for estimating muscle parameters in the thoracic and lumbar trunk for use in musculoskeletal modeling.” Journal of Biomechanics 2012; 45(1): 66-75.

Book Chapters

Anderson D.E., Bruno A.G., Bouxsein M.L. Biomechanics of Hip and Vertebral Fractures. In: Osteoporosis, Fourth Edition. Marcus R., Feldman D., Dempster D.W., Luckey M., and Cauley J.A. (eds), Volume 1, Academic Press, pp. 497-516, 2013.

Conference Abstracts

Mokhtarzadeh H., Bruno A.G., Allaire B.T., Velie K.R., De Paolis Kaluza M.C., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “The association between estimated vertebral loading and spinal curvature using subject-specific musculoskeletal models of thoracolumbar spine.” Accepted as an oral presentation at the annual meeting of the International Society of Biomechanics, Brisbane, Australia, July, 2017.

Mokhtarzadeh H., Bruno A.G., Allaire B.T., Kelsey V.R., De Paolis Kaluza M.C., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “Vertebral loading predictions are influenced by incorporation of CT-based measurements of trunk anatomy into subject-specific musculoskeletal models of the thoracolumbar spine.” Accepted as a poster presentation at the annual meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, San Diego, California, March 19, 2017.

Burkhart K., Bruno A.G., Allaire B.T., Mokhtarzadeh H., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “Spinal loading estimates from a detailed musculoskeletal model of the thoracolumbar spine explains the high incidence of vertebral fractures at the thoracolumbar region.” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Atlanta, Georgia, September 18, 2016.

Bruno A.G., Anderson D.E., Meng X.J., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Bouxsein M.L., Anderson D.E. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., Allaire B.T., De Paolis Kaluza M.C., Kiel D.P., Samelson E.J., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J.M., Bouxsein M.L. “The effect of thoracic kyphosis and sagittal plane alignment on vertebral compressive loading.” Poster presentation, American Society of Biomechanics, Gainesville, FL, August 2012.

Bruno A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J.M., Bouxsein M.L. “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 A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J.M., Bouxsein M.L. “Fracture-induced changes to spinal curvature increase the risk of future vertebral fracture.” Poster presentation, Gerontological Society of America, Boston, MA, November 2011.

Bruno A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J.M., Bouxsein M.L. “Vertebral fracture location influences risk of future vertebral fracture.” Poster presentation, American Society of Biomechanics, Long Beach, CA, August 2011.

Bruno A.G., Anderson D.E., D'Agostino J., Bouxsein M.L. “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

Graduate Research 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

Knowledge

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Medical Engineering and Bioastronautics, 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