Rui-Ping Xia

Associate Professor in Physical Therapy
B.Sc., M.Sc., Tianjin University, China
Ph.D., University of Bristol, UK
XiaR@stmary.edu | 913-758-6180 | 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, and as a Research Associate at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for several years.

Dr. Xia has been a faculty in physical therapy program for the last 10 years. Her current and previous teaching activities in physical therapy curriculum include Motor Control and Motor Learning, Neuroanatomy and Neuroscience, Critical Inquiry and Evidence-Based Practice, and Expertise Practice in Physical Therapy. In addition, Dr. Xia has mentored dozens of doctoral physical therapy students, research associates and post-doctoral fellow through research projects.

Her research interests focus on motor control, sensorimotor integration, neural rehabilitation and Parkinson’s disease.

As the primary author, she has published her research in prestigious journals such as Clinical Neurophysiology, Experimental Brain Research, and Journal of Physiology. She has also served as the principal investigator of numerous funded projects, including a few sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Xia has been a member of the Society for Neuroscience since 1997. She has been an editorial board member of the Open Journal of Molecular and Integrative Physiology for the past few years.


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

  1. Powell D+, Muthumani A+, Xia R*. Parkinson's disease is associated with greater regularity of repetitive voluntary movements. Motor Control 2014 (In press).

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

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

  9. 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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.