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Francisco Valero-Cuevas

Francisco J. Valero-Cuevas is an engineer of Mexican origin, and a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering at the University of Southern California.[1] He is known for his work on how the human hand works, and its clinical applications. He is notable for several inventions, including devices for measuring hand function and[2][3][4] leg function,[5] and the construction of archways in civil engineering.[6] Among his scholarly contributions is a textbook on the mathematical foundations underlying the study of motor control and biomechanics.[7] He is an Elected Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (2014), an Elected Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and a Thomas J. Watson Fellow.

Francisco Valero-Cuevas
Headshot of Francisco Valero-Cuevas
ResidenceUnited States
Alma materStanford University, Queen's University, Swarthmore College
Known forMotor control, biomechanics
Scientific career
FieldsBiomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, biokinesiology, physical therapy
InstitutionsUniversity of Southern California, Cornell University, Stanford University
ThesisIdentification of Biomechanical Factors Limiting Finger Force Production (1997)
Doctoral advisorFelix Zajac



Francisco Valero-Cuevas graduated from Swarthmore College in 1988 with a BS in Engineering. As a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, he spent one year in the Indian Subcontinent, studying philosophy and learning Hindi. In 1991, he received an MS from Queen's University in Mechanical Engineering, under the guidance of Professor Carolyn Small. He joined Stanford University in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and obtained a PhD in 1997, under the guidance of Professor Felix Zajac.


Valero-Cuevas' first job was as a research associate and lecturer at Stanford University in Mechanical Engineering. He then joined Cornell University's Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering as an assistant professor, with a joint appointment at the Hospital for Special Surgery as an assistant scientist. After being promoted to associate professor (with tenure) in 2005, he moved to the University of Southern California as an associate professor (with tenure), and was promoted to full professor in 2011. His primary appointment at the University of Southern California are in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. He has joint appointments in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Computer Science.

Notable contributionsEdit

Strength-dexterity testEdit

This method for the assessment of hand function was invented by Francisco Valero-Cuevas in 2000, and available as a device.[2] He has applied this successfully to study hand function in adults with disabilities,[8] children,[9] and even for assessing leg function.[5] He founded a company in 2015, Neuromuscular Dynamics, LLC,[10] based on these devices.

Awards and honorsEdit


  1. ^ "Faculty Profile - USC Viterbi | Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering". USC Viterbi | Ming Hsieh Department of Electrical Engineering. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  2. ^ a b B1 US 6537075 B1, Valero-Cuevas, Francisco, "Device for developing and measuring grasping force and grasping dexterity", published Jan 11, 2000 
  3. ^ A1 US 20060293615 A1, Valero-Cuevas, Francisco & Daniel Brown, "Device and method for quantifying and extracting sensorimotor circuitry", published Dec 28, 2006 
  4. ^ A1 US 20100228156 A1, Valero-Cuevas, Francisco & Hans Forssberg, "Dexterity device", published Sep 9, 2010 
  5. ^ a b Lyle, Mark A.; Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J.; Gregor, Robert J.; Powers, Christopher M. (2013). "The lower extremity dexterity test as a measure of lower extremity dynamical capability" (PDF). Journal of Biomechanics. 46 (5): 998–1002. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2012.11.058. PMID 23357699. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  6. ^ A US 6000193 A, Valero-Cuevas, Francisco; Raimund Sulzenbacher & Stefan Hetzenauer, "Easily adjustable, reusable arch-forming assembly for creating a framework for constructing arches and archways", published Dec 14, 1999 
  7. ^ Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J. (2015). Fundamentals of neuromechanics. Biosystems & Biorobotics (Book 8). Springer. p. 194.
  8. ^ Valero-Cuevas, Francisco J.; Smaby, Niels; Venkadesan, Madhusudhan; Peterson, Margaret; Wright, Timothy (2003). "The strength-dexterity test as a measure of dynamic pinch performance" (PDF). Journal of biomechanics. 36 (2): 265–70. doi:10.1016/S0021-9290(02)00340-8. PMID 12547365. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  9. ^ Vollmer, B; Holmström, L; Forsman, L; Krumlinde-Sundholm, L; Valero-Cuevas, FJ; Forssberg, H; Ullén, F (2010). "Evidence of validity in a new method for measurement of dexterity in children and adolescents" (PDF). Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. 52 (10): 948–54. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8749.2010.03697.x. PMC 3080099. PMID 20497459.
  10. ^ "Neuomuscular Dynamics, LLC". Corporation Search California. Archived from the original on 2016-07-27. Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  11. ^ "President Valerie Smith's Charge to Francisco Valero-Cuevas '88 :: Commencement 2018 :: Swarthmore College". Retrieved 2018-06-08.
  12. ^ OCEC. "2015 OCEC Award Program Booklet" (PDF). Orange County Engineering Council. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  13. ^ "American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE)". Francisco Valero-Cuevas, Fellow of the AIMBE. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  14. ^ "2013 HENAAC Award Winners". Great Minds in STEM. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  15. ^ "American Society of Biomechanics Awards and Grants". Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  16. ^ Brand, David. "Cornell's Valero-Cuevas receives Whitaker Foundation award to study biomechanics of the human thumb". Cornell Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2016-07-25. Retrieved 25 July 2016.

External linksEdit