Spotlights Entries

Entry DateMay 28, 2021
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NameJennifer Nichols
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2. Tell us about your current program of research and/or activities and projects that you are currently involved in.

I direct the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. My research team uses experimental techniques to measure how people move and interact with their environment. We also build computer models and leverage machine learning methods to analyze the complex interactions of muscles, bones, and joints. Our current projects focus on orthopaedic conditions, including thumb osteoarthritis, traumatic ankle fracture, and rotator cuff injury.

4. Where do you see your career going in the future? What are your goals and aspirations?

My career goal is to create predictive computer simulations that can be used to improve the functional ability and quality of life for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders. I believe that, in the future, computer simulations will be widely used to help clinicians design personalized treatment plans and predict individual patient outcomes. I look forward to contributing to the new technologies, innovations, and research needed to advance patient care.

6. If you would like us to tag you on Facebook, please provide your Facebook link or handle:Feel free to link out to my lab website: https://www.bme.ufl.edu/labs/nichols/
5. Tell us something fun that you do in your spare time or any hobbies that you enjoy.

My hobbies include reading, swimming, hiking, and eating ice cream. I still have not yet found an ice cream flavor that I do not enjoy.

3. Tell us about how you got involved in pain and/or aging research. Was there a moment that inspired you?

Everyone knows that when you are in pain, you change how you move. Yet, many biomechanists, including myself, often study movement without also robustly quantifying pain. When I joined the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor, I was excited to partner with the many experienced pain researchers on campus to bridge the gap between research on human movement and research on musculoskeletal pain. I believe that an integrated understanding of pain and movement is essential for advancing treatments for musculoskeletal disorders, such as osteoarthritis.