Jennifer A. Nichols, Ph.D.

Jennifer A. Nichols, Ph.D.
Jennifer A. Nichols, Ph.D.
Musculoskeletal Biomechanics Lab

1064 Center Drive, NEB 355, PO Box 116131, Gainesville FL 32611

T: (352) 294-8803
F: (352) 273-9221

Assistant Professor

Biomechanics, musculoskeletal modeling, predictive simulation, medical imaging


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Tufts University, 2008
M.S., Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2011
M.A., Medical Humanities & Bioethics, Northwestern University, 2014
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering, Northwestern University, 2014
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Orthopaedics, University of Utah, 2017

Research Summary
Dr. Nichols’ research broadly focuses on musculoskeletal biomechanics. Her long-term goal is to create predictive, biomechanical simulations to improve the functional ability and quality of life for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders (e.g., osteoarthritis, muscular dystrophy, fracture, joint pain). By predicting surgical outcomes and the effectiveness of physical therapy, predictive simulations will catalyze clinical advancements and inform modern, data-driven medicine. To accomplish this goal, Nichols creates computer models that replicate how the musculoskeletal system responds to pathologies and treatments. She also studies human movement using in vivo experimental methods, such as medical imaging, 3D motion analysis, and electromyography. To date, much of her work examines how osteoarthritis affects complex joint systems, such as the wrist/hand and foot/ankle.

Honors and Awards

  • American Society of Biomechanics Young Scientist Post-Doctoral Award, 2018
  • ORS/OREF Postdoctoral Fellowship Grant, 2016-2017
  • Leadership in Inclusive Excellence Award, University of Utah Health Sciences, 2016
  • OpenSim Travel Award, NCSRR at Stanford University, 2015
  • NIH F31, Ruth L. Kischstein National Research Services Award, 2012-2014
  • Sarah Baskin Award for Excellence in Research, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, 2012
  • NIH T32, Ruth L. Kischstein National Research Services Award, 2010-2012

Selected Publications

Google Scholar Citation Link

Nichols, J.A., K.E. Roach, N.M. Fiorentino, and A.E. Anderson. (2017) “Subject-Specific Axes of Rotation Based on Talar Morphology Do Not Improve Predictions of Tibiotalar and Subtalar Joint Kinematics.” Annals of Biomedical Engineering.

Nichols, J.A., M.S. Bednar, S.J. Wohlman, and W.M. Murray. (2017) “Connecting the Wrist to the Hand: A Simulation Study Examining Changes in Thumb-Tip Endpoint Force Following Wrist Surgery.” Journal of Biomechanics. 58: 97-104.

Nichols, J.A., K.E. Roach, N.M. Fiorentino, and A.E. Anderson. (2016) “Predicting Tibiotalar and Subtalar Joint Angles from Skin-Marker Data with Dual-Fluoroscopy as a Reference Standard.” Gait & Posture 49:136-143.

Nichols, J.A., M.S. Bednar, and W.M. Murray. (2016) “Surgical Simulations Based on Limited Quantitative Data: Understanding How Musculoskeletal Models Can Be Used to Predict Moment Arms and Guide Experimental Design.” PLoS ONE. 11(6): e0157346. /journal.pone.0157346

Nichols, J.A., M.S. Bednar, R.M. Havey, and W.M. Murray. (2015) “Wrist Salvage Procedures Influence Moment Arms of the Primary Wrist Muscles.” Clinical Biomechanics 30(5):424-430.