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

Associate Professor & J. Crayton Pruitt Family Term Fellow

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. The guiding vision of her lab is to create predictive simulations that cross disciplinary boundaries and improve the functional ability and quality of life for individuals with musculoskeletal disorders. In other words, she is actively working to create a future in which advanced computer simulations enable real-time, patient-specific prognostics in a doctor’s office. Toward this goal, her lab is pursuing (i) basic science projects focused on understanding musculoskeletal structure and function, (ii) computationally intensive projects to rapidly create personalized models and analyze predictive patient-specific simulations, and (iii) clinical projects focused on improving orthopaedic surgery and rehabilitation. All these projects integrate orthopaedic biomechanics, musculoskeletal computer simulations, quantitative medical imaging, and machine learning to understand both the patient- and surgeon-specific factors that influence musculoskeletal health.

Honors and Awards

  • J. Crayton Pruitt Family Term Fellow, J. Crayton Pruitt Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2023 – 2026
  • Research Excellence Award, J. Crayton Pruitt Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2022
  • Faculty Service Award, J. Crayton Pruitt Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, 2020
  • Trailblazer Award, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, 2020
  • Outstanding Researcher Award, National Center for Simulation Rehabilitation Research, 2018
  • Early Career Achievement Award, American Society of Biomechanics, 2018

Selected Publications

Google Scholar Citation Link

Nichols, J.A., C.E. Baratta, and C.W. Reb (2023) “Biomechanical Sequelae of Syndesmosis Injury and Repair” Foot & Ankle Clinics. 28(1): 77-88.

Rakauskas T.R., S.M. Barron, T. Ordonez Diaz, and J.A. Nichols. (2023) “Measuring Fascicle Lengths in Extrinsic and Intrinsic Thumb Muscles Using Extended Field-of-View Ultrasound” Journal of Biomechanics. 149: 111512.

McFarland D.C., B. I. Binder-Markey, J.A. Nichols, S. J. Wohlman, M. de Bruin, and W. M. Murray. (2023) “A Musculoskeletal Model of the Hand and Wrist Capable of Simulating Functional Tasks” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering. 70(5): 1424-1435.

Barron, S.M., T. Ordonez Diaz, F. Pozzi, and J.A. Nichols (2022) “Linear Relationship Between Electromyography and Shear Wave Elastography Measurements in the Upper Extremity Persists in Deep Muscles” Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology. 63:102645.

Kearney, K., J.B. Harley, and J.A. Nichols (2021) “Classifying Muscle Parameters with Artificial Neural Networks and Simulated Lateral Pinch Data” PLoS One. 16(9): e0255103.

Ordonez Diaz, T. and J.A. Nichols (2021) “Anthropometric Scaling of Musculoskeletal Models of the Hand Captures Age-Dependent Differences in Lateral Pinch” Journal of Biomechanics. 123: 110498.

Hao, K. and A. Nichols (2021) “Simulating Finger-Tip Force Using Two Common Contact Models: Hunt-Crossley and Elastic Foundation” Journal of Biomechanics. 119: 110334.