Celebrating our PhD researchers on International Women’s Day

CAMERA Celebrating our PhD researchers on International Women’s Day

CAMERA are very proud to be able to support a range of PhD and EngD research projects in a wide variety of research areas across the University of Bath. The International Women’s day 2023 Mission for Women in Technology is “To elevate and advance gender parity in technology and celebrate the women forging innovation”.

This seems like a great time to have a closer look at 2 projects using tech to push forward research in their field and the women behind them.

Yi Wan is a registered physiotherapist based in the Department for Health. She is in the 4th year of her PhD project working on a 6-week biofeedback gait retraining programme in people with knee osteoarthritis. We asked Yi to give a brief outline of what her research is looking at and what she hopes to achieve.

“Gait retraining combined with biofeedback is a new and non-invasive way to slow down the progression of knee osteoarthritis (KOA) by reducing knee loading. We are conducting a randomised controlled trial in KOA population to identify which type of biofeedback is more effective in gait retraining to reduce knee loading and pain, and its translative benefits in other daily activities.

We hope to identify the optimal gait alterations for participants’ gait retraining and compare the effectiveness of different types of biofeedback for gait retraining. In addition, this study will explore how muscle coordination strategies are altered during the gait retraining programme.” If you wish to contact Yi about her work you can email her ([email protected]) or connect on Twitter (@YiWan613)

Caitlin Naylor is a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Psychology focusing on how virtual reality can be used to explore body perception disturbances in health and pain. We asked Caitlin to tell us a little about her research and her future aims.

“Perception of our body relies on information from vision and from the feeling or impression of our body, but is also informed by mental representations of the body. When these two sources of information contradict one another, distortions can arise that in some conditions, such as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), can lead to very severe body perception disturbances. My work aims to create body illusions in virtual reality to investigate how different manipulations of visual body cues can lead to different changes in body perception.

The goal is to use this knowledge to design a tailored rehabilitation tool for people with CRPS, that can alter the limb to respond to different types of distortions, and hopefully restore a coherent body perception”. Caitlin is still learning lots about working with VR, but is excited for the potential it offers. She would love to connect with anyone interested in the field – feel free to email her ([email protected]) or connect on Twitter (@CaitlinENaylor) and LinkedIn (Caitlin Naylor).

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