Dr Federico Villagra Povina

BSc (Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain); MSc (Birmingham University); PhD (Birmingham University)

Dr Federico Villagra Povina

Lecturer in Exercise and Physiology

Department of Life Sciences

Contact Details


Federico received a BSc in Sport Sciences (INEF) from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain) & completed an MSc by research at Birmingham University in the area of human muscle Physiology. He completed his PhD thesis in the area of Motor Control of human tremors in health & disease in 1995, then moved to the University of Kansas Medical Centre where he undertook his first Post-doctoral Fellowship with Dr William C. Koller in the area of controlling tremor in Parkinson's Disease.

Between 1997 & 2002 Federico worked at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with Professor Janet Eyre & Simon Miller to investigate how peripheral or central nervous system damage early in life can affect subsequent brain development & lead to abnormal patterns of brain organisation & function. Between 2003 & 2007 Federico worked at the School of Medicine at the University of Maryland (USA) as a Research Assistant Professor. Concurrently he working as an investigator in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University where he collaborated with Drs Hanley, Luft, Macko & others in understanding the principles & mechanisms underlying upper & lower extremity stroke rehabilitation & contributing to provide a scientific basis for treating this population & other neurological disabilities with exercise as main factor of recovering motor function.

Between 2007 & 2012 Federico worked at the University of Navarra in Pamplona investigating the recovery of movement control after strokes & in Parkinson's Disease using neuroimaging & non-invasive neurophysiological techniques (repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation)&exercise as a therapy. Between 2013 & 2015 he contributed to establishing a new area in Sport Medicine at the Clinic University of Navarra (Spain) where the principle of "Exercise is Medicine" was applied to prevent & treat patients suffering from chronic diseases. Federico joined Aberystwyth University in January 2016 as a Lecturer in Exercise & Health Physiology.

Additional Information

My teaching currently is on the Principles of the cardiorespiratory system related to health and disease. I am also teaching Research Methods to First and Second Year students of Exercise Sciences. I am currently doing a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCTHE) at Aberystwyth University.

Cardiovascular Physiology and Research Methods (Statistics); Research in the area of Neuroscience (Motor Control in health and Diseases) and Exercise Medicine (Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases with Exercise).

My research interest are in the area of Motor control in health and disease and in the application of Exercise as a form of Medicine to prevent and treat chronic diseases.

Research Groups

  • Diet and Health


Erdoğan, MŞ, Arpak, ES, Keles, CSK, Villagra, F, Işık, EÖ, Afşar, N, Yucesoy, CA, Mur, LAJ, Akanyeti, O & Saybaşılı, H 2024, 'Biochemical, biomechanical and imaging biomarkers of ischemic stroke: Time for integrative thinking', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 59, no. 7, pp. 1789-1818. 10.1111/ejn.16245
Hajzer, SP, Jones, A, Jones, D, Miles, H, Ellis, V, Villagra Povina, F, Sganga, M, Swain, M & Bennett-Gillison, S 2023, Towards Ceramics Inspired Physiotherapy for Recovering Stroke Patients. in Computer Graphics and Visual Computing (CGVC). Eurographics. 10.2312/cgvc.20231194
Hajzer, SP, Jones, A, Jones, D, Miles, H, Ellis, V, Sganga, M, Bennett-Gillison, S, Villagra Povina, F & Swain, M 2023, 'Towards Ceramics Inspired Physiotherapy for Recovering Stroke Patients', Computer Graphics & Visual Computing , Aberystwyth, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 14 Sept 2023 - 15 Sept 2023. 10.2312/cgvc.20231194
Aznárez-Sanado, M, Eudave, L, Martínez, M, Luis, EO, Villagra, F, Loayza, FR, Fernández-Seara, MA & Pastor, MA 2022, 'Brain Activity and Functional Connectivity Patterns Associated With Fast and Slow Motor Sequence Learning in Late Middle Adulthood', Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, vol. 13, 778201. 10.3389/fnagi.2021.778201
Williams, A, Al Shezawi, M, Rees, E, Ellins, E, Watkeys, L, Coulson, J, Ford, W, Seckam, A, Moore, J, Cockcroft, J, Sharp, P, Brown, S, Pugh, C, Povina, F, Beaney, T, Schutte, A, Poulter, N & Mc Donnell, B 2022, 'Levels of undiagnosed and uncontrolled hypertension in Wales: Results from May Measurement Month 2017, 2018 and 2019 blood pressure screening campaign', Journal of Human Hypertension, vol. 36, no. SUPPL 1, P-10. <https://www.nature.com/articles/s41371-022-00734-5>
More publications on the Research Portal