Rui-Ping Xia

Associate Professor in Physical Therapy
B.Sc., M.Sc., Tianjin University, China
Ph.D., University of Bristol, UK
Email: XiaR@stmary.edu
Phone: 913-758-6180
Office: Berchmans 114



Dr. RuiPing Xia received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Tianjin University, China, and her Ph.D. in Physiology from The University of Bristol, UK.

Upon the completion of her doctoral study, she worked as a Research Scientist at The Institute of Neurology, University of London. She also completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in neurological rehabilitation at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Dr. Xia has been a core faculty in physical therapy programs since 2003. Her current and previous teaching activities in physical therapy curriculum include motor control and motor learning, neuroscience, critical inquiry and evidence-based practice, and expertise practice in physical therapy. In addition to teaching, Dr. Xia has mentored doctoral physical therapy students, research associates and post-doctoral fellows through their research projects.

Her research has generated numerous peer-reviewed articles published in prestigious journals such as Clinical Neurophysiology, Experimental Brain Research, Journal of Physiology (London), and Physical Therapy journal (PTJ). Her publications are widely cited by investigators worldwide. She has also served as the principal investigator of several funded projects—including a few sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is the recipient of several Research Awards and Fellowships. 

Dr. Xia has been an active member of the Society for Neuroscience since 1997. She currently serves as an editorial board member of the Open Journal of Molecular and Integrative Physiology. 

Research Interests
Motor control, sensorimotor integration, neural rehabilitation, and Parkinson’s disease—as well as educational research known as “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning”

Peer Reviewed Journal Papers for the Last Five Years
(* senior and/or corresponding author; + students, research associates and post-doc fellow mentored)

  1. Xia R, Muthumani A, Mao ZH, Powell DW. Quantification of neural reflex and muscular intrinsic contributions to parkinsonian rigidity. Exp Brain Res. 2016;234:3587-3595.

  2. Powell DW, Muthumani A, Xia R. A comparison of the effects of continuous versus discontinuous movement patterns on parkinsonian rigidity and reflex responses to passive stretch and shortening. J Nat Sci 2016, 2(8), e201.

  3. Xia R, Stone JR, Hoffman JE, Klappa SG. Promoting community health and eliminating health disparities through community-based participatory research. Phys Ther 2016;96:410-417.

  4. Powell D+, Muthumani A+, Xia R*. Parkinson's disease is associated with greater regularity of repetitive voluntary movements. Motor Control 2014; 18:263-277.

  5. Lupu MF, Sun M, Xia R, Mao ZH*. Rate of information transmission in human manual control of an unstable system. IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems 2013; 43:259-263.

  6. Powell D+, Threlkeld AJ, Xiang Fang, Muthumani A+, Xia R*. Amplitude- and velocity-dependency of rigidity measured at the wrist in Parkinson’s disease. Clinical Neurophysiology 2012; 123:764-773.

  7. Xia R*, Mao ZH. Progression of motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease. Neuroscience Bulletin 2012; 28:39-48.

  8. Xia R*, Powell D+, Rymer WZ, Hanson N+, Fang X, Threlkeld AJ. Differentiation of contributions between shortening reaction and stretch-induced inhibition in Parkinson’s disease. Experimental Brain Research 2011; 209:609-618.

  9. Powell D+, Hanson N+, Threlkeld AJ, Fang X, Xia R*. Enhancement of parkinsonian rigidity with contralateral hand activation. Clinical Neurophysiology 2011;  122:1595-1601.

  10. Xia R. Physiological and biomechanical analyses of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. In: Rana A, eds. Etiology and Pathophysiology of Parkinson’s Disease, InTech, Vienna, Austria, 2011; pp.485-506.

  11. Xia R*. Effectiveness of nutritional supplements on reducing symptoms in autism spectrum disorder. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2011; 17:271-274.

  12. Xia R*, Sun J, Threlkeld, AJ. Analysis of interactive effect of stretch reflex and shortening reaction on rigidity in Parkinson's disease. Clinical Neurophysiology 2009;  120:1400-1407.


Conference Abstracts/Proceedings and Professional Presentations for the last five years
(* senior and/or corresponding author; + students, research associates and post-doc fellow mentored)

  1. Xia R, Bahner C, Bond B, Dehan J, Hendricks C, Kinslow CD, Yoder AW. Effect of Journal Club on Doctor of Physical Therapy Students' Appraisal Skills of Research Evidence. APTA Combined Sections Meeting. Anaheim, California, February 19, 2016.

  2. Yoder AW, Xia R. Effectiveness of Manual Therapy for Tension Type Headache: A Systematic Review. APTA Combined Sections Meeting. Anaheim, California, February 19, 2016.

  3. Xia R. Muthumani A, Mao ZH, Powell D. Natural history of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. Society for Neuroscience 45th Annual Meeting, Chicago IL, USA, October 19, 2015.

  4. Xia R, Powell D, Mao ZH. Comparison of progression rate between neural and non-neural rigidity components in Parkinson’s disease. Society for Neuroscience 44th Annual Meeting, Washington DC, USA, November 15, 2014.

  5. Scott LA, Ake KM, Catanzarito B, Muthumani A, Xia R, Powell DW. EMG normalization masks medication-based reductions in reflex amplitude in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. 16th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Carolina Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Greenville NC, October 30, 2014.

  6. Powell DW, Scott LA, Ake KM, Muthumani A, Xia R. Continuous movement trajectory modulates stretch reflex amplitude in Parkinson’s disease. 16th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Carolina Chapter of the Society for Neuroscience, Greenville NC, October 30, 2014.

  7. Wang KJ, Sun M, Xia R, Mao ZH. Co-Adaptive optimal control framework for human-robot physical symbiosis. The 10th Annual ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, Portland OR, March 3, 2015.

  8. Scott LA, Ake KM, Muthumani A, Xia R, Powell DW. Effect of normalization on quantification of stretch reflex amplitude in Parkinson’s disease. 42nd Annual Meeting of the Southeast Regional Chapter of American College of Sports and Medicine, Jacksonville FL, February 14, 2015.

  9. Xia R, Klappa S. Relationship between learning outcomes and students’ attitudes toward evidence-based physical therapy course. APTA Combined Sections Meeting No. 2153, Indianapolis IN, February 6, 2015.

  10. Xia R. Muthumani A, Mao ZH, Powell D. Natural history of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. Society for Neuroscience 45th Annual Meeting, Chicago IL, USA, October 19, 2015.

  11. Powell D+, Muthumani A+, Fang X, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Contralateral activation and enhanced rigidity in Parkinson's disease: neural and non-neural contributions. 17th Canadian Society for Biomechanics, Barnaby BC, Canada, June 2012.

  12. Holling B+, Threlkeld AJ, Muthumani A+, Powell D+, Xia R*. Efficacy of Dopaminergic Medication on Rigidity in Early vs. Advanced Stages of Parkinson’s Disease. St. Albert’s Day Research Symposium, Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska, March 2012.

  13. Kremer L+, Wagner L+, Muthumani A+, Powell D+, Threlkeld A, Xia R*. Quantitative Evaluation of Parkinsonian Rigidity Progression over Time. APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago Illinois, February 2012.

  14. Gillman AC, Lindseth NM, Beisel LH, Powell D+, Xia R, Threlkeld AJ*. Assessing lower extremity muscle fatigue: Do isometric and isokinetic protocols provide equivalent measures? APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago Illinois, February 2012.

  15. Delavan J, Simonson B, Xia R, Threlkeld AJ*, Powell D+. Physical activity patterns are similar in old adults and individuals with Parkinson’s disease. APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago Illinois, February 2012.

  16. Powell D+, Benes A, Konor M, Hanson NJ+, Kerschen K, Gustafson A, Xia R, Threlkeld AJ*. Mechanical and neurophysiological manifestations of fatigue in Parkinson’s disease. APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Chicago Illinois, February 2012.

  17. Powell D+, Muthumani A+, Hanson NJ+, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Velocity dependency of parkinsonian rigidity assessed at the wrist joint. 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics. Long Beach CA, August 2011.

  18. Muthumani A+, Powell D+, Hanson NJ+, Kremer L+, Wagner L+, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Relationship between neural-reflex torque and muscle reflex response in parkinsonian rigidity. 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics. Long Beach CA, August 2011.

  19. Muthumani A+., Powell D+, Haider H, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Relationship between movement speed and regularity of movement in Parkinson’s disease. 35th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Biomechanics. Long Beach CA, August 2011.

  20. Xia R*, Hanson NJ+, Powell D+, Muthumani A+, Bertoni J, Threlkeld AJ. Efficacy of dopaminergic medication on neural and non-neural components of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. The MDS 15th International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders. Toronto Ontario, Canada. June 2011.

  21. Kremer L+, Wagner L+, Muthumani A+, Powell D+, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Progressive changes in neural and non-neural components of rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. St. Albert’s Day Research Symposium, Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska. April 2011.

  22. Benes A, Konor M, Kerschen K, Gustafson A, Hanson NJ+, Threlkeld AJ*, Xia R, Powell D+. Fatigability within the Parkinsonian Population. Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum. Omaha Nebraska, February 2011.

  23. Powell D+., Hanson NJ+, Muthumani A+, Kremer L+, Wagner L+, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Amplitude-dependent changes in parkinsonian rigidity. Midwest Student Biomedical Research Forum. Omaha Nebraska, February 2011.

  24. Threlkeld AJ*, Hanson NJ+, Powell D+, Kerschen K, Gustafson A, Xia R. Voluntary Activation of the Quadriceps Muscle in Parkinson's Disease. Platform presentation at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans LA, February 2011

  25. Powell D+, Hanson NJ+, Threlkeld AJ, Xia R*. Effect of Contralateral Hand Activation on Enhancement of Parkinsonian Rigidity. Poster presentation at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans LA, February 2011

  26. Threlkeld AJ*, Kerschen K, Gustafson A, Hanson NJ+, Powell D+, Xia R. Fatigue of the Quadriceps in Parkinson's Disease is Dependent on Contraction Speed. Poster presentation at the APTA Combined Sections Meeting, New Orleans LA, February 2011

  27. Hanson NJ+, Radovic M+, Powell D+, Threlkeld AJ, Haider H, Xia R*. Regularity of wrist movement patterns in Parkinson’s disease and healthy controls. Program No. 898.7. Society for Neuroscience 40th Annual Meeting, San Diego California, USA, November, 2010.

  28. Lupu MF, Sun M, Askey D, Xia R, Mao ZH*. Human strategies in balancing an inverted pendulum with time delay. Proceedings of the 32nd International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, Buenos Aires, Argentina, pp.5246-5249, August 2010.

  29. Xia R*. Physiological and biomechanical analyses of rigidity in Parkinson's disease. 1st World Congress of NeuroTalk. Singapore, June 2010.

  30. Xia R*, Radovic M+, Mao ZH, Threlkeld AJ. System identification and modeling approach to characterizing rigidity in Parkinson's disease: neural and non-neural contributions. Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE 2010), Paper No. 40046 (4 pages), doi: 10.1109/ICBBE.2010.5514861, Chengdu, China, June 2010.

  31. Finney J+, Powell D+, Threlkeld AJ, Filleman D+, Xia R*. Effects of contralateral hand movement on parkinsonian rigidity. St. Albert’s Day Research Symposium, Creighton University, Omaha NE, April 2010.

  32. Xia R*. Differential contributions of shortening reaction and stretch-induced inhibition to lead-pipe rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. Program No. 271.7. Society for Neuroscience 39th Annual Meeting, Chicago Illinois, USA, October 2009.

  33. Frazier M+, Vogt S+, Xia R*. Effect of Movement Velocity on Rigidity in Parkinson’s disease. Poster Presentation. The APTA Combined Sections Meeting, Las Vegas NV, USA, February 2009.