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Jemma Houghton

MSc Global Health Science and Epidemiology, BSc Hons Physiotherapy

Doctoral Researcher


Jemma is a South African trained physiotherapist, she graduated from the University of the Western Cape with BSc Hons Physiotherapy (Summa Cum Laude) in 2019. She completed her Community Service placement at Butterworth Hospital in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa in 2020. Jemma has also worked in the private physiotherapy sector in South Africa and in the United Kingdom. 

In 2021, Jemma was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship (St Andrew’s College and Diocesan School & Green Templeton College 2021). She recently completed her MSc in Global Health Science and Epidemiology in the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford with merit in 2022. Her dissertation investigated the association between accelerometer-derived physical activity behaviours and incident atrial fibrillation in adults in the UK Biobank, under the supervision of Rosemary Walmsley, Aiden Doherty, and Derrick Bennett.

Her DPhil thesis will focus on the prevention and management of diabetes-associated lower limb complications in South Africa using a mixed method approach. She is supervised by Professor Andrew Farmer, Dr. Kathryn Taylor, and Helene-Mari van Der Westhuizen at the University of Oxford, and Associate Professor Joel Dave at the University of Cape Town. 

Jemma’s other interests include ballet and contemporary dance, she has completed RAD ballet examinations to Advanced 1 level and completed a year of semi-professional training at London Studio Centre in 2014/15. She also enjoys yoga and pilates, and has completed her teacher training qualifications in these disciplines. She has taught in various commercial studios in Cape Town since 2016 and online throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.