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Dr Jennifer Davies BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr Jennifer Davies

BSc, MSc, PhD

Research Associate

School of Healthcare Sciences

+44 (0)29 206 88581
13.20, 13th Floor, Eastgate House, 35-43 Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB


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.

Academic positions

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

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.