Dr Jennifer Davies
BSc, MSc, PhD
I am a post-doctoral research associate in the Biomechanics and Bioengineering Research Centre Versus Arthritis at Cardiff University, employed within the School for Healthcare Sciences.
I work to understand the human sensorimotor system and the production of dynamic movements in health and disease. I am particularly interested in how muscle activity is controlled and coordinated during dynamic, everyday movements such as walking.
I have worked in world-renowned research laboratories across the globe, including the Neurophysiology of Movement Laboratory at the University of Colorado Boulder, the Virtual Reality and Mobility Research Unit at the Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital in Laval, Quebec, the Applied Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory at the University of Colorado Denver, and the Whole-Body Sensorimotor Laboratory at the Institute of Neurology, University College London.
Honours and awards
I have received two Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Awards
- Understanding spinal and suprapsinal mechanisms underlying the generation of muscle activity during gait
- COMSTIG: Motor Cortex Magnetic Stimulation during Gait
These projects are ongoing.
Cardiff Institute of Tissue Engineering and Repair Workshop on Ageing, Cardiff, UK
Ageing and osteoarthritis: The impact on our motor system and the way we move
Committees and reviewing
Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Versus Arthritis Research Committee
Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Versus Arthritis Patient and Public Involvement Committee
Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Versus Arthritis Biomarkers Committee
I study the spinal and supraspinal neural control of dynamic movements, and the impact of pain, stress and anxiety on this control. To do this I use transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex, surface EMG, intramuscular EMG, peripheral nerve stimulation and motion capture.
My current projects are using transcranial magnetic stimulation to evaluate the corticospinal pathway to the lower limbs, and peripheral nerve stimulation to study the modulation of spinal pathways during gait. I am working with industry to develop a system whereby transcranial magnetic stimulation can be delivered while an individual is performing dynamic movements such as walking.
My current translational project is testing a toolkit that myself and my colleagues have developed to enable quantitative motion analysis in the physiotherapy clinic.
I have extensive experience working with healthy and clinical populations, including stroke, spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington's disease, and chronic pain. Throughout my career I have focused on translational research, collaborating with basic scientists and clinicians to produce high-quality scientific work that is pertinent to real-life clinical problems.
I have a wide-ranging expertise in nerve and muscle stimulation techniques, electromyography, single neurone recordings, gait and balance analyses, three-dimensional motion capture, and brain stimulation and imaging. I am skilled at designing and writing analysis programmes (in Matlab) for large volumes of data, and I have a record of publication in high-quality scientific journals.