Current Postdoctoral Research Scholars

Brecca Gaffney, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
CV

Brecca is a mechanical engineer whose research in biomechanics, or the engineering-based study of the mechanics of human movement, seeks to understand how motion affects the human body. By utilizing musculoskeletal modeling, her research aims to improve treatment for patients who are seeking rehabilitation for an injury or movement disorder. Her current research, mentored by Dr. Michael Harris, focuses on the mechanical effects of surgical and non-surgical interventions in patients with hip dysplasia. Born and raised in Colorado, she played collegiate basketball and now enjoys running, hiking, and spending time with her dog Gryff.

Elinor Harrison, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
CV

Elinor (Ellie) was always torn between her two loves of dance and science, but it wasn’t until her senior year of college that she decided to fully abandon her dreams of medical school to pursue dance. After receiving a B.A. in French Literature and Dance from Washington University in St. Louis, she packed up her dance shoes and bought a one-way ticket to New York. Over a decade-long dance career, Dr. Harrison toured with musicals such as “A Chorus Line” and performed original dance/theatre works by choreographers including Jane Comfort, Janis Brenner, Mary Seidman, Nancy Meehan, Carlos Orta, and Thomas/Ortiz. In 2014, she returned to Washington University to pursue a PhD in Movement Science with hopes of transferring her love of movement out of the studio and into the lab to better the lives of people with neurological disorders. During graduate school, she developed a novel therapeutic technique of singing to improve gait for people with Parkinson’s disease, for which she received a Grammy Foundation Grant. Dr. Harrison is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Washington University with a dual appointment in Neurology and Dance.

Jennifer Zellers, PT, DPT, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar
CV

Jennifer is a postdoctoral researcher mentored by Dr. Mary Hastings. Her research interest is identifying how systemic conditions, like diabetes, impact the ability of a tendon to maintain its health and recover from injury. Jennifer is a physical therapist by background, having completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at Columbia University. She completed her PhD training at the University of Delaware under the mentorship of Karin Grävare Silbernagel. Her dissertation work characterized relationships between Achilles tendon structure and patient function in individuals recovering from Achilles tendon rupture.