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Dr Jennifer Davies BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Jennifer Davies

BSc, MSc, PhD

Lecturer: Physiotherapy

School of Healthcare Sciences

Email
daviesj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 206 88581
Campuses
13.20, 13th Floor, Eastgate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB

Overview

Research Summary

My research interests centre around understanding the human sensorimotor system and the production of dynamic movements in health and disease. I am particularly interested in how sensory information is integrated and muscle activity is controlled and coordinated during dynamic, everyday movements such as walking, and the effect of pain and stress/anxiety on this control.

Teaching Summary

I have delivered lectures on Pain and the Motor System within the MSc programme in School of Healthcare Sciences, and have contributed to small group tutorials in undergraduate anatomy and human movement modules, and undergraduate and MSc research modules. I have also previously taught on undergraduate modules in the School of Physical Therapy and Occupational Health at McGill University and designed and delivered a new Computation Tools in Clinical Research course to postgraduate students in the Physical Therapy Program within the School of Medicine at University of Colorado, Denver.

At the postgraduate level I also supervise and mark MSc dissertations, am part of the supervisory team for PhD students, and conduct PGR progress reviews within the School of Healthcare Sciences.

Biography

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. Prior to my lectureship, I was a post-doctoral research associate within the Biomechanics and Bioengineering Research Centre Versus Arthritis here at Cardiff Unviersity and was coapplicant and worked on a research project titled Clinical acceptance of technology in remote rehabilitation assessment: addressing urgent COVID challenges to drive future technology transfer, funded by MRC Confidence in Concept and Ser Cymru Tackling Covid-19 scheme and held across the Schools of Engineering and Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University.

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.

Academic positions

  • Mar 2019 – present: Postdoctoral Research Associate (Part time, 0.6–0.8FTE), Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre Versus Arthritis, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Apr 2018 – Mar 2019: Career break (maternity leave)
  • Oct 2016 – Apr 2018: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Arthritis Research UK Biomechanics and Bioengineering Centre, School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Oct 2015 – Sep 2016: Career break (maternity leave)
  • Oct 2014 – Sep 2015:Site Coordinator (Part time, 0.1 FTE), ENGAGE-HD Randomised Clinical Trial, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Jul 2014 – Sep 2015: Research Assistant (Part time, 0.5 FTE), School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Apr 2012 ­– Jun 2014: Career break*
  • Oct 2010 – Mar 2012: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, Institute of Neurology, University College London, England
  • Aug 2007 ­– Oct 2010:Graduate Research Assistant, The Applied Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory, University of Colorado Denver, USA
  • Jun 2005 – Aug 2007: Graduate Research Assistant, The Posture, Balance and Gait Research Unit, Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, Laval, Canada
  • Aug 2003 – Jul 2004:Research Assistant, Neural Control of Movement Laboratory, University of Colorado Boulder, CO, USA

Speaking engagements

  • Mar 2017: 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

Publications

2020

2019

2018

2016

2011

2010

2009

I study the spinal and supraspinal neural control of dynamic movements, and the impact of pain, stress or anxiety, and musculoskeletal or neurological disorders on this control. To do this I use techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation of the motor cortex, surface electromyography (including high-density arrays), intramuscular electromyography, 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.

I am also involved in translational projects, particularly around the use of technology in healthcare. I am co-applicant on a current project looking at Clinical acceptance of technology in remote rehabilitation assessment: addressing urgent COVID challenges to drive future technology transfer, funded by MRC Confidence in Concept and Ser Cymru Tackling Covid-19 scheme and held across the Schools of Engineering and Healthcare Sciences. Another current translational projects 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.