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Dr. Michael Harris-Love

Director, 3MAP Lab

Background &

General Information

Research Interests &


Teaching & Academic Administration

Patient Advocacy & Professional Service


Dr. Michael Harris-Love is a Professor and the Joanne Posner-Mayer Endowed Chair in Physical Therapy at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (CU SOM). He is also the Associate Dean of Physical Therapy Education at CU SOM and a Health Scientist at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center (RMR VAMC).


He has over 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 Lab at N. 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 Principal Investigator at the Washington DC VAMC. He later joined the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at CU SOM and the Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center. His prior appointments include 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 (CABRR) at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, and in the Rehabilitation Medicine Department at the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Harris-Love is a trained physical therapist with a prior appointment within the Geriatrics and Extended Care Service at the DC VAMC. His other 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 rheumatology, neurology, and geriatrics.  Dr. Harris-Love was previously named a U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Young Investigator Fellow, a Butler-Williams Scholar with the NIH National Institute of Aging, and a VA-HBCU Research Scientist via a VA/RR&D career development award. Recognition for his research activities includes being a recipient of the American Physical Therapy Association Eugene Michels New Investigator Award


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 helped to establish and lead the Polytrauma/TBI Research Rehabilitation Fellowship at the DC VAMC and actively provides post-doctoral training and mentorship to students committed to applying the principles of rehabilitation science to the care of Veterans.  In addition, he served as the Associate Director of the Human Performance Research Unit within the Clinical Research Center at the DC VAMC. 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 prior to moving the lab to the ECHS GRECC and CU Anschutz Medical Campus in 2019.


Major Areas of Research & Related Publications

Research Interests

Dr. Harris-Love has taught various courses including Exercise Science, Geriatrics, Therapeutic Exercise, and Research Methods, and has completed previous service as adjunct or visiting faculty at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, University of Indianapolis School of Physical Therapy, George Mason University, and Howard University. 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 University of Colorado:

  • DPTR 5111: Exercise Science, Lecturer 

  • IPCP 5000: Interprofessional Collaborative Practice, Facilitator 

  • RHSC 7001:  Rehabilitation Science Seminar

  • PhD Student Advisement or Committee (with program approval)


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. Dr. Harris-Love is the founding Co-Chair of the APTA Colorado Chapter DEI Committee. 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 served as a member of the Scientific Evaluation and Prioritization Committee of the Georgetown-Howard Universities Center for Clinical and Translational Science Consortium, and as a grant reviewer for VA Office of Research (RR&D) and National Institute on Aging Study Section Special Emphasis Panels. He is currently on the Editorial Boards for Current Aging Science, Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, and  Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences.

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