Li-Qun Zhang, PhD - Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

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  • #1-Ranked Rehabilitation Hospital in America by U.S. News & World Report since 1991
  • 800,000+ outpatient visits each year
  • 5,000+ inpatients treated each year, system-wide
  • 50+ sites of care throughout Illinois and Indiana
  • One of only 2% of hospitals to receive two consecutive Magnet Recognitions for Nursing Excellence.
  • 182-bed inpatient hospital in the heart of Chicago
  • Largest rehabilitation research center in the world
  • Only rehabilitation hospital with eight federally designated research centers
  • 370+ active research projects in neuroscience, bionics, robotics, and musculoskeletal medicine
  • Academic home of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Department, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Clinical Trials

Did you know you can help advance the science of rehabilitation medicine while benefiting from the latest research findings? You can by joining a clinical trial! See a list of our Research Studies & Clinical Trials.

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Li-Qun Zhang

Li-Qun Zhang, PhD

  • Senior Research Scientist, SMPP, RIC
  • Professor, PM&R , Feinberg School of Medicine, NU
  • Professor of Orthop Surg, Feinberg School of Medicine, NU
  • Professor, BME, McCormick School of Engineering, NU



Education, Residency and Internship


Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, BS, Electrical Eng.
Vanderbilt University, TN, MS, Biomed. Eng.
Vanderbilt University, TN, PhD, Biomed. Eng.


Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Post Doctoral Fellow



Lee, S. J., Ren, Y., Chang, A. H., Geiger, F., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Effects of Pivoting Neuromuscular Training on Pivoting Control and Proprioception. Med Sci Sports Exercise. in press.

Chang, A. H., Lee, S. J., Zhao, H., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Impaired Varus-Valgus Proprioception and Neuromuscular Stabilization in Medial Knee Osteoarthritis. J Biomech. 47, 360-366.

Kang, S. H., Lee, S. J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013b. Real-Time Tracking of Knee Adduction Moment in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis. J Neurosci Methods. in press.

Ren, Y., Lee, S. J., Park, H. S., and Zhang, L. Q., 2013. A Pivoting Elliptical Training System for Improving Pivoting Neuromuscular Control and Rehabilitating Musculoskeletal Injuries. Neural Systems and Rehab Eng, IEEE Transactions on. 21, 860-868.

Zhang, L.-Q., Chung, S. G., Ren, Y., Liu, L., Roth, E. J., and Rymer, W. Z., 2013. Simultaneous characterizations of reflex and nonreflex dynamic and static changes in spastic hemiparesis. J Neurophysiol. 110, 418-430.

Kang, S. H., Lee, S. J., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Real-Time Knee Adduction Moment Feedback Training Using an Elliptical Trainer. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehab Eng. in press.  

Waldman, G., Yang, C.-Y., Ren, Y., Liu, L., Guo, X., Harvey, R. L., Roth, E. J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Effects of robot-guided passive stretching and active movement training of ankle and mobility impairments in stroke. NeuroRehab. 32, 625-634.

Ren, Y., Kang, S. H., Park, H.-S., Wu, Y.-N., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Developing a multi-joint upper limb exoskeleton robot for diagnosis, therapy, and outcome evaluation in neurorehabilitation. IEEE Tran Neural Syst Rehab Eng. 21:490-9.

Lee, S. J., Ren, Y., Geiger, F., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Gender differences in offaxis neuromuscular control during stepping under a slippery condition. Eu Appl Physiol. 113, 2857–2866.

Fung, D. T., Lee, S. J., Kang, S. H., Liu, S. Q., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. ACL Impingement with 3-D Geometric Characterizations of ACL Pseudofibers and Intercondylar Notch. J Med Biol Eng. In press.

Levin, S. D., Wellman, D., Liu, C., Li, Y., Ren, Y., Shah, N. A., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Biomechanical strain characteristics of soft tissue biceps tenodesis and bony tenodesis. J Orthopaedic Sci. 18, 699-704.

Chilelli, B. J., Patel, R. M., Kalainov, D. M., Peng, J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Flexor Pollicis Longus Dysfunction After Volar Plate Fixation of Distal Radius Fractures. J of Hand Surgery. 38, 1691-1697.

Yang, C.-Y., Guo, X., Ren, Y., Kang, S. H., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2013. Position-Dependent, Hyperexcitable Patellar Reflex Dynamics in Chronic Stroke. Arch Phy Med Rehab. 94, 391-400.

Schwartz, D. G., Kang, S. H., Lynch, T. S., Edwards, S., Nuber, G., Zhang, L.-Q., Saltzman, M., 2013. The anterior deltoid's importance in reverse shoulder arthroplasty: a cadaveric biomechanical study. J Shoulder Elbow Surg, 22:357-64.



Schwartz, D. G., Kang, S.-H., Lynch, T. S., Edwards, S., Nuber, G., Zhang, L.-Q., and Saltzman, M. D., 2012. The anterior deltoid's importance in reverse shoulder arthroplasty: a cadaveric biomechanical study. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 22, 357-364.

Park, S.-A., Park, H.-I., Kim, D., Yang, C.-Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2012. The prediction of gross motor outcome using cerebrovascular reserve measured by acetazolamide-challenged SPECT. Neurorehab Neural Repair. 30, 359-367.

Drobyshevsky, A., Derrick, M., Luo, K., Zhang, L.-Q., Wu, Y.-N., Takada, S. H., Yu, L., and Tan, S., 2012. Near-Term Fetal Hypoxia–Ischemia in Rabbits. Stroke. 43, 2757-2763.

Liu, S. Q., Tefft, B. J., Roberts, D. T., Zhang, L.-Q., Ren, Y., Li, Y. C., Huang, Y., Zhang, D., Phillips, H. R., and Wu, Y. H., 2012. Cardioprotective Proteins Upregulated in the Liver in Response to Experimental Myocardial Ischemia. Am J Physiol. 303, H1446-1458.

Rabuck, S. J., Lynch, J. L., Guo, X., Zhang, L.-Q., Edwards, S. L., Nuber, G. W., and Saltzman, M. D., 2012. Biomechanical Comparison of 3 Methods to Repair Pectoralis Major Ruptures. Am J Sports Med. 40, 1635-1640.

Shu, B., Yan, Z., Li, X., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2012. Effect of different intensity pulsed ultrasound on the restoration of rat skeletal muscle contusion. Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics. 62, 329–336.



Zhao H, Wu Y-N, Hwang M, Ren Y, Gao F, Gaebler-Spira D, Zhang L-Q. Changes of calf muscle-tendon biomechanical properties induced by passive stretching and active movement training in children with cerebral palsy. J Appl Physiol. 2011;111:435-42.

Wu, Y.-N., Hwang, M., Ren, Y., Gaebler-Spira, D. J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Combined passive stretching and active movement rehabilitation of lower-limb impairments in children with cerebral palsy using a portable robot. Neurorehab Neural Repair. 25, 378-385.

Zhao, H., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Automatic Tracking of Muscle Fascicles in Ultrasound Images using Localized Radon Transformation. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 58, 2094-2101.

Gao, F., Ren, Y., Roth, E. J., Harvey, R., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Effects of repeated ankle stretching on calf muscle-tendon and ankle biomechanical properties in stroke survivors. Clin Biomech. 26, 516-522.

Peng, Q., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. High-Resolution Ultrasound Displacement Measurement Using Coded Excitations. IEEE Trans. Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics Frequency Control. 58, 122-133.

Gao, F., Zhao, H., Gaebler-Spira, D., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. In vivo Evaluations of Morphological Changes of Gastrocnemius Muscle Fascicles and Achilles Tendon in Children with Cerebral Palsy. Am J Phys Med Rehab. 90, 364-371.

Peng, Q., Park, H.-S., Shah, P., Wilson, N. A., Ren, Y., Wu, Y.-N., Liu, J., Gaebler-Spira, D. J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Quantitative evaluations of ankle spasticity and stiffness in neurological disorders using a manual spasticity evaluator. J Rehab Res Develop. 48(4), 301-309.

Khan, N., Levin, S. D., Domont, Z. B., Wu, Y.-N., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Strain effect of placing an arthroscopic portal through the subscapularis tendon. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 20, 33-38.

Liu, J., Xu, D., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. Evaluations of neuromuscular dynamics of hyperactive reflexes poststroke. J Rehabil Res Dev. 48, 577-586.

Savage J, Limthongkul W, Park H-S, Zhang L-Q, Karaikovic EE. A comparison of biomechanical stability and pullout strength of two C1-C2 fixation constructs. The Spine Journal. 2011;11(7):654-658.

Lee, S. J., Ren, Y., Wilson, N. A., Kang, S. H., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2011. "Effects of knee bracing on patellofemoral pain." Lower Extremity Review.


Park, H.-S., Ahn, C., Fung, D. T., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. A Knee-Specific Finite Element Analysis of the Human Anterior Cruciate Ligament Impingement against the Femoral Intercondylar Notch. J Biomech. 43, 2039-2042.

Wu, Y.-N., Ren, Y., Goldsmith, A., Gaebler-Spira, D., Liu, S. Q., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Characterization of Spasticity in Cerebral Palsy: Dependence of Catch Angle on Velocity. Develop Med & Child Neurology. 52, 563-569.

Lin, F., Wilson, N. A., Makhsous, M., Press, J. M., Koh, J. L., Nuber, G. W., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. In vivo patellar tracking induced by individual quadriceps components in individuals with patellofemoral pain. J Biomech. 43, 235-241.

Wilson, N. A., Mazahery, B. T., Koh, J. L., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Effect of bracing on dynamic patellofemoral contact mechanics. J Rehab Res Develop. 47, 531-542.

Fukuda, T., Haddad, S. L., Ren, Y., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Impact of Talar Component Rotation on Contact Pressure after Total Ankle Arthroplasty, A Cadaveric Study. Foot Ankle Int. 31, 404-11.

Haddad, S. L., Dedhia, S., Ren, Y., Rotstein, J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Deltoid ligament reconstruction: a novel technique with biomechanical analysis. Foot Ankle Int. 31, 639-651.

Dunlap, B. J., Karaikovic, E. E., Park, H.-S., Sokolowski, M. J., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Load sharing properties of cervical pedicle screw-rod constructs versus lateral mass screw-rod constructs. Eu Spine Journal. 19, 803-808.

Flanigan, D. C., Lin, F., Koh, J. L., and Zhang, L.-Q., 2010. Articular contact pressures of meniscal repair techniques at various knee flexion angles. Orthopedics. 33.

Hoenig, M., Gao, F., Kinder, J., Zhang, L.-Q., Collinge, C., and Merk, B. R., 2010. Extraarticular Distal Tibia Fractures: A Mechanical Evaluation of Four Different Treatment Methods. J of Ortho Trauma. 24, 30-35.

Klitzman, R., Zhao, H., Zhang, L.-Q., Strohmeyer, G., and Vora, A., 2010. Suture-button versus screw fixation of the syndesmosis: a biomechanical analysis. Foot Ankle Int. 31, 69-75.


Wilson, N. A., J. M. Press and L.-Q. Zhang (2009). "In Vivo Strain of the Medial versus Lateral Quadriceps Tendon in Patellofemoral Pain." J of App Physiol 107: 422-428.

Zhao, H., Y. Ren, Y.-N. Wu, S. Q. Liu and L.-Q. Zhang (2009). "Ultrasonic Evaluations of Achilles Tendon Mechanical Properties Post Stroke." J of App Physiol 106: 843-849.

Wilson, N. A., J. M. Press, J. L. Koh, R. W. Hendrix and L.-Q. Zhang (2009). "In Vivo and Noninvasive Evaluation of Abnormal Patellar Tracking during Squatting in Patellofemoral Pain." J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 91(March): 558-566.

Research Interests

development of intelligent rehabilitation devices to perform diagnosis, passive stretching and active movement treatments, and outcome evaluations of impaired limbs post stroke; investigate reflex/non-reflex factors contributing to impairments/spastic hypertonia at the joints, muscle fiber, and sarcomere levels; and mechanisms of knee injury & injury prevention; and load sharing among muscles and 3D mechanical actions of individual muscles

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