Dr Yanfei Xie

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

RECOVER Injury Research Centre
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences


Yanfei has a discipline background as a physiotherapist. She completed her PhD at The University of Queensland in October 2021. Her PhD involved ultrasound shear wave elastography, quantitative sensory testing, and physical and psychological measures to uncover potential biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying work-related neck pain and disability in a high-risk occupation group. After her PhD, she was awarded a competitive UQ postdoctoral fellowship to conduct research related to musculoskeletal pain and injury at RECOVER Injury Research Centre. Her current research focuses on uncovering the biopsychosocial mechanisms underlying musculoskeletal pain and injury, developing, and implementing effective and tailored pain treatments. She also has interests in occupational health and health equity. She has a broad range of research skills applicable across methodologies, including randomized controlled trials, case-control, and longitudinal study designs, systematic and scoping reviews, and meta-analysis. Yanfei has presented her work at national and international conferences and received several presentation awards.

Research Interests

  • Musculoskeletal pain and injury
  • Pain mechanisms
  • Rehabilitation
  • Culturally responsive care
  • Work-related musculoskeletal disorders

Research Impacts

Yanfei's research has informed the development of novel technologies that can generate tailored notifications, such as exercise plan, to mitigate musculoskeletal pain associated with prolonged use of computer and mobile devices (Patent No.: US 11,550,690 B1; Altmetric, May 2023). Additionally, findings of her research has been adopted by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, impacting their policy recommendations for teleworkers (Almetric, May 2023). Three publications of her publications (Xie et al, Ergonomics, 2016; Xie et al, Appl Ergon, 2017; Madeleine, Xie et al, Clin Neurophysiol, 2016) featured in 14 news outlets and blogs, including prominent media platforms such as Yahoo, The Guardian, and Scientific American (Altmetric, May 2023).

Selected awards:

- 2021: The Best Poster Award at the Australian Pain Society 41st Annual Scientific Meeting

- 2019: 2nd Runner-up Best Poster Award at the 2019 Brisbane Pain Research Symposium

- 2019: People’s Choice Best Oral Presentation at the 2019 UQ School of Health and Rehabilitation Postgraduate Research Conference

- 2018: Winner of the Best Infographic Award at the 2018 School of Health and Rehabilitation Postgraduate Research Conference

- 2017-2021: The University of Queensland Training Research Training Scholarship

- 2017: Outstanding Student Project Award, awarded by The Hong Kong Ergonomics Society, 2017

Selected Grant

- 2022-2024: Mechanisms and prognostic factors of chronic pain in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A quantitative sensory testing study. High-Level Hospital Research Foundation of Guangdong Province, China: Early- to Mid-Career Clinician Researcher Seeding Grant (CIB).

- 2021-2022: The University of Queensland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Scheme

- 2018: Travel grant from the 11th Pan-Pacific Conference on Rehabilitation

Media highlights:

Research on 'musculoskeletal pain and use of mobile handheld devices' was mentioned in the following media outlets:

- https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/texting-thumb-trigger-finger-gamers-thumb-and-other-smartphone-injuries/

- https://ca.news.yahoo.com/young-people-growing-horns-because-072713438.html?guccounter=1

- https://www.sciencealert.com/researchers-find-evidence-that-younger-people-are-growing-horn-like-bumps

- https://www.europe1.fr/sante/smartphones-tablettes-et-ordinateurs-attention-aux-troubles-moteurs-3370220

- https://videnskab.dk/krop-sundhed/mobiltelefonen-kan-oedelaegge-forbindelsen-mellem-dine-muskler

- https://www.sydsvenskan.se/2016-09-11/forskare-mobilmissbruk-kan-forstora-ditt-nervsystem

- https://jyllands-posten.dk/nyviden/ECE8985971/du-svaekker-dine-muskler-naar-du-bruger-for-meget-tid-med-smartphone/


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Masters (Research), Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Bachelor (Honours), Sun Yat-Sen University (中山大學)


View all Publications


Journal Article

Other Outputs