Jill L. McNitt-Gray, Ph.D. is a Gabilan Distinguished Professor in Science and Engineering and mentors students the Departments of Biological Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. She is also the Director of the USC Biomechanics Research Laboratory and was the founding director of a cross-cutting interdisciplinary graduate program in biological sciences at USC.
Dr. McNitt-Gray’s interdisciplinary research focuses on the neuromuscular control and dynamics of human movements and aims to identify risk factors and develop effective methods in rehabilitation engineering and performance enhancement for individuals with various ability levels (clinical populations as well as elite athletes). She uses both experimental and dynamic modeling approaches to test research hypotheses specific to control priorities during physically-demanding well-practiced tasks. Her research has been funded by Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Veterans Administration, and national governing bodies of sport including the Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee.
Dr. McNitt-Gray earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics and statistics with a certification in coaching from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1980. After working in load research and load management for the American Electric Power Service Corporation, she returned to graduate school at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In 1985, she earned her master’s degree in biomechanics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the mentorship of Barney LeVeau PT PhD and was the assistant coach of the Carolina Women’s Gymnastics team. Dr. McNitt-Gray received her doctoral degree in biomechanics from Penn State under the mentorship of Richard Nelson and Peter Cavanagh in 1989.
Dr. McNitt-Gray has served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Sports Biomechanics and the Journal of Applied Biomechanics and as an ad hoc reviewer on study sections for NIH, NSF, CDC, and various governing bodies of sport. She served on the ASB membership committee from 1989-92, and then as a member of the education committee. Dr. McNitt-Gray has served on the Executive Board as Education Chair (1993-95), Program Chair (2002), and as President (2009-2012). Dr. McNitt-Gray also served as a member of the Executive Council of the ISB from 2001 to 2007 and served as the ISB Liaison to Affiliated and Economically Developing Societies. Dr. McNitt-Gray has received the USC Mellon Culture of Mentoring Award for her work with the Women in Science and Engineering program (WiSE) and a USC Mellon Mentoring award for her mentoring of undergraduate students. The Medical Commission of the International Olympic Committee recognized her research team’s work in the physical sciences with the Prince Alexandre de Merode Award. Dr. McNitt-Gray is also actively involved in translation of science into the practice and outreach programs that provide informal educational experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics fields. Her innovative approaches to research and education have been recognized by the USC Center for Excellence in Teaching and funded by the National Science Foundation. She has served as a biomechanist for the International Olympic Committee, the US Olympic Committee, multiple National Governing Bodies of Sport, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.