Dr. Michael Harris-Love

Director, 3MAP Lab

Associate Director, Human Performance Research Unit


Dr. Michael Harris-Love is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Exercise Science of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University (GW), and a Principal Investigator at the Washington DC VA Medical Center (DC VAMC).


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 Science. Additionally, Dr. Harris-Love has research affiliations with the Center for Applied Biomechanics and Rehabilitation Research (CABRR) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, and in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health.


Dr. Harris-Love is a licensed Physical Therapist and he has clinical privileges within the Geriatrics and Extended Care Service at the DC VAMC. His previous clinical positions were at 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 oncology, rheumatology, neurology, and geriatrics.  He was named a U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Young Investigator Fellow in 2006, a Butler-Williams Scholar by the NIH National Institute of Aging in 2013, and a VA-HBCU Career Development awardee in 2014.


  • 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 has taught various courses including Exercise Science, Geriatrics,Therapeutic Exercise, and Research Methods, and has completed previous faculty service at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Indianapolis School of Physical Therapy.  The laboratory staff is also actively involved in team teaching quantitative ultrasound modules, isokinetic assessment, and kinesiology at local academic institutions.  Current coursework is facilitated through area universities with an academic affiliation agreement with the DC VAMC:


  • EXSC 6213 - Clinical Internship I (GW)

  • EXSC 6233 - Graduate Internship (GW)

  • Elective - Pending approval by student Program Director (GW)

  • EXSC 491 - Exercise Science/Health Science Internship (Trinity University/Howard University)

  • RHBS 375 - Gait Analysis (GMU)

  • Polytrauma/TBI Post-Doctoral Rehabilitation Research Fellowship (DC 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 DC 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 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 lead the Polytrauma/TBI Research Rehabilitation Fellowship as the Deputy Director since 2012 and actively provides post-doctoral training and mentorship to students committed to applying the principles of rehabilitation science to the care of Veterans in the DC Metro area.  Dr. Harris-Love currently serves as the Associate Director of the Human Performance Research Unit within the Clinical Research Center at the DC VAMC.


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 is currently a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and has previously served in a national capacity for the American College of Rheumatology. He is also a grant reviewer for VA Office of Research (RR&D) and National Institute on Aging Study Section Special Emphasis Panels.

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