Researcher biography

Taylor Dick is a Senior Lecturer in The School of Biomedical Sciences. She was awarded her PhD in 2016 from Simon Fraser University (Vancouver, Canada). Her PhD research, in partnership with the Concord Field Station at Harvard University, focused on developing an experimental and modelling framework to predict in vivo motor function using advanced image-driven musculoskeletal models. Following this, she completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering at North Carolina State University- The University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) where her research focused on exploring how wearable assistive devices (e.g., exoskeletons) influence muscle-tendon function to augment or restore movement. She implemented innovative imaging approaches to discover how humans recover from unexpected perturbations during movement, which provided critical biological insight for the design of robotic devices capable of navigating real-world environments.

Taylor is particularly interested in the neuromuscular and biomechanical mechanisms that underlie healthy and diseased locomotor function. Her research program has 3 themes.

  • First is to unravel the mechanisms of muscle function using experiments and computational models, with the goal of translating these insights to inform clinical practice.
  • Second is to understand how the anatomy and mechanics of the musculoskeletal system adapt to challenges such as size, age, and disease. To do this, her team has developed quantitative imaging technologies to visualize and interrogate the mechanisms that underpin motor function.
  • Third is the design and application of wearable assistive technologies, such as exoskeletons and prosthetics, to enhance performance in healthy individuals or to improve mobility in those with deficits.

Taylor has established herself internationally as an emerging leader in biomechanics research. This reputation is supported by prestigious awards, invited talks and review papers, and media attention. Her research has been funded through competitive grant schemes and industry partnerships, with total research support exceeding $1.5 million since the completion of her PhD (2016). She was awarded the Jaquelin Perry Emerging Scientist Award from the International Society of Biomechanics (2021) and has been nominated (2020 and 2021) for the Faculty of Medicine Rising Star of the Year Award.