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Personal profile

Research Interests

My current translational research efforts have recently completed a double-blinded randomized controlled trial studying two different robotic strength training programs in adults with chronic stroke. I was the PI/Program Director of this NIDRR-funded trial. My current basic research efforts employ several innovative methods, including rehabilitation robotics, for quantifying multi-joint upper extremity movement control during both postural and movement tasks in an effort to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying impaired movement and subsequent restoration of normal movement in individuals with stroke. Much of my work has been in collaboration with Julius P.A. Dewald, PT, PhD and is further augmented by collaborations with colleagues with expertise in neural imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, and transcranial magnetic stimulation. I am currently involved in the training of PhD students in both Biomedical Engineering and Northwestern Interdepartmental Neuroscience as a faculty mentor on a T32 training grant in movement and rehabilitation science. I also specialize in the training of Physical and Occupational Therapists in the administration of impairment, activity, and participation limitation assessments for individuals with stroke and the subsequent processes necessary for standardized delivery of assessments in clinical trials. Through my clinical research efforts I hope to contribute to the evolution of rehabilitation medicine and science by advancing neurological rehabilitation principles and techniques. The key component most likely to impact rehabilitation in this magnitude is the elucidation of the neurological underpinnings responsible for movement discoordination and through the subsequent development of more effective rehabilitation therapies for individuals with functionally debilitating movement impairments.

Education/Academic qualification

DPT, Emory University

… → 2003

MPT, Emory University

… → 2000

PT, Emory University

… → 2000

Research interests

  • Neuroscience
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy

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Stroke Medicine & Life Sciences
Torque Medicine & Life Sciences
Elbow Medicine & Life Sciences
Joints Medicine & Life Sciences
Robotics Engineering & Materials Science
Upper Extremity Medicine & Life Sciences
Arm Medicine & Life Sciences
Patient rehabilitation Engineering & Materials Science

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Grants 2002 2024

Research Output 2001 2019

2 Citations (Scopus)
Discriminant Analysis

Reply from Jacob Graves McPherson, Albert Chen, Michael D. Ellis, Jun Yao, C. J. Heckman and Julius P. A. Dewald

McPherson, J. G., Chen, A., Ellis, M. D., Yao, J., Heckman, C. & Dewald, J. P. A., Jan 1 2019, In : Journal of Physiology. 597, 16, p. 4413-4414 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

2 Citations (Scopus)

Altered neuromodulatory drive may contribute to exaggerated tonic vibration reflexes in chronic hemiparetic stroke

McPherson, J. G., McPherson, L. M., Thompson, C. K., Ellis, M. D., Heckman, C. J. & Dewald, J. P. A., Apr 9 2018, In : Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 12, 131.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Application of an LDA Classifier for Determining User-Intent in Multi-DOF Quasi-Static Shoulder Tasks in Individuals with Chronic Stroke: Preliminary Analysis

Kopke, J. V., Hargrove, L. J. & Ellis, M. D., Oct 26 2018, 40th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2018. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., p. 2312-2315 4 p. 8512787. (Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS; vol. 2018-July).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Equipment and Supplies
7 Citations (Scopus)
Motor Neurons
Efferent Pathways