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Dr. Michael Harris-Love

Director, 3MAP Lab

Professor + Director, Physical Therapy Program, CU Anschutz Medical Center


Research Activity

Background & General Information

Teaching & Academic Administration

Patient Advocacy & Professional Service


Dr. Michael Harris-Love is Visiting Professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus (CU AMC), and a Principal Investigator with the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System - Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (ECHS GRECC).


He has nearly 20 years of experience working in the areas of anaerobic performance assessment, rehabilitation, and clinical research. He initially worked in the Comparative Physiology and Functional Morphology Laboratory at Northern Arizona University as a NASA intern under the direction of Dr. Stan Lindstedt.


Dr. Harris-Love served as a full-time faculty member of the GW Department of Physical Therapy and Health Care Sciences prior to becoming a Primary Investigator at the DC VAMC and joining the Department of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Additionally, Dr. Harris-Love has had research affiliations with the Center for Applied Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Research at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, and in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health. He is currently serving as the Director of the University of Colorado Physical Therapy Program.


Dr. Harris-Love has held previous clinical positions as a licensed Physical Therapist with the Geriatrics and Extended Care Service at the DC VAMC, the Mayo Medical Center in Rochester, MN, and the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. This clinical work involved patient care in the areas of rheumatology, neurology, and geriatrics. He was previously a U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Young Investigator Fellow, a NIH National Institute of Aging Butler-Williams Scholar, and a VA-HBCU Research Scientist via a VA/RR&D career development award. Dr. Harris-Love is now serving as the Joanne Posner-Mayer Endowed Chair in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.






  • Bachelor of Science, Exercise Science, Northern Arizona University, 1995

  • Masters of Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy, Mayo School of Health Sciences, 1997

  • Doctor of Health Science, Health Sciences, University of Indianapolis, 2004

  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship (K30), Clinical Research, Georgetown University/Children’s National Hospital, 2010



Dr. Harris-Love is the Associate Dean of Physical Therapy Education for the CU School of Medicine and a member of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Executive Committee and the Research Oversight Committee. He has completed previous faculty service at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and the University of Indianapolis School of Physical Therapy. Dr. Harris-Love has taught various courses including Exercise Science, Geriatrics,Therapeutic Exercise, and Research Methods. The laboratory staff has been actively involved in team teaching quantitative ultrasound modules, isokinetic assessment, and kinesiology at local academic institutions. His current teaching activities are in support of the DPT and PhD educational programs at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus:


  • RHSC 7001: Rehabilitation Science Seminar, Co-Instructor

  • DPTR 5202: Examination & Evaluation II, Lecturer

  • DPTR 7112: Applied Exercise Science, Lecturer

  • RHSC Electives - Pending approval by the dissertation advisor 

  • ECHS GRECC Geriatrics Research Fellowship (RMR VAMC)



Dr. Harris-Love’s general research interest is muscle plasticity in response to training, detraining, normal aging, and chronic disease.  He is currently leading studies at the RMR VAMC that involve an eccentric training intervention for arthritis in Veterans, and the development of screening methods for age-related changes in skeletal muscle and glucose homeostasis.


Prior to his affiliation with GW and the DC VAMC, he was an Associate Investigator for clinical trials involving rheumatic and neurological conditions at NIAMS, NINDS, NIEHS, and the University of Pittsburgh.  Notable previous work includes publication of the first paper detailing modified eccentric exercise for the treatment of myositis, and collaboration with an investigative team responsible for conducting the largest myositis clinical trial on record.  This international effort required Dr. Harris-Love to create and proctor outcomes assessment training for clinicians from 29 clinical sites, including Sweden, Canada, and the Czech Republic.  He has also worked with investigators at NIEHS to characterize patterns of muscle weakness in myositis, and he is a co-creator of the Adult Myopathy Assessment Tool (AMAT) which is currently a featured outcome measure in multiple intramural NINDS clinical trials.


Dr. Harris-Love initially established the Muscle Morphology, Mechanics, and Performance Laboratory (3MAP Lab) within the Research Service and Rehabilitation Medicine Service of the DC VAMC. Additionally, he has helped to establish and lead a Polytrauma/TBI Research Rehabilitation Fellowship program, and actively provide post-doctoral training and mentorship to students committed to applying the principles of rehabilitation science. The 3MAP Lab group is currently based at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus and the VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System - Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (ECHS GRECC). Dr. Harris-Love's ongoing research training efforts are through the CU Rehabilitation Sciences PhD Program the ECHS GRECC Advanced Research Fellowship.


Major Areas of Research & Related Publications



Dr. Harris-Love’s training as a physical therapist is reflected in his strong support of patient advocacy groups such as the Arthritis Foundation and Myositis Association. This work has included conducting seminars for patients and caregivers, giving clinical and research presentations at national meetings, and authoring general interest articles for the organization.  He was the first physical therapist to be appointed to the Medical Advisory Board of the Myositis Association, and was also named a member of the International Myositis Outcomes Assessment Study Group. 


In addition, Dr. Harris-Love is a long-time member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA). He served the organization as a Consenting Mentor for over a decade and was elected to the Vice-Chair position of the Degenerative Diseases SIG of the APTA Neurology Section. He also served in a national capacity for the American College of Rheumatology in support of the journal publications, Arthritis Care & Research and Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Dr. Harris-Love is currently an Editorial Board Member for scientific journals involving geriatrics, rheumatology, and kinesiology. He is also a grant reviewer for VA Office of Research (RR&D and HSR&D) and National Institute on Aging Study Section Special Emphasis Panels.


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