Neurology Experts

Kathleen M. Zackowski

Associate professor
Kennedy Krieger Institute
United States of America


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: Dr. Zackowski earned her bachelor's of science in occupational therapy from Texas Tech University and went on to complete her master's of science in exercise and sport science from the University of Arizona. She worked as an occupational therapist in Texas, Arizona and California for several years before pursuing her doctorate. She completed her PhD in movement science through the program in physical therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Zackowski completed her post-doctoral work at the Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Department of Neurology. Dr. Zackowski is currently an Associate Professor in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Neurology. RESEARCH SUMMARY: Dr. Zackowski studies the motor control problems that occur as a result of neurodegenerative disease processes such as multiple sclerosis and adrenomyeloneuropathy. Her research interests are to investigate the mechanisms that underlie sensorimotor impairments and disability resulting from damage to the central nervous system so as to improve disability. Dr. Zackowski has developed a model using advanced neuro-imaging, within the Kirby Imaging Center, in combination with quantitative impairment measures to understand pathologically relevant structure-function relationships in individuals with neurodegenerative disease. In this model she links impairment measures to performance measures (i.e., measures of walking and balance) to enable the development of pathologically specific rehabilitative interventions. This type of model may be very helpful in tracking disease progression and evaluating rehabilitative and pharmacologic treatments for people with neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Zackowski’s studies extend broadly from clinical questions that can be addressed in the laboratory, and results applied in the clinic, to more theoretic questions that evaluate the mechanisms responsible for motor dysfunction.

Research Interest



  • Fritz NE, Jiang A, Keller J, Zackowski KM. Utility of the Six-Spot Step Test as a Measure of Walking Performance in Ambulatory Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil (2016) 97: 507-512.

  • Fritz NE, Roy S, Keller J, Prince J, Calabresi PA, Zackowski KM. Pain, cognition and quality of life associate with structural measures of brain volume loss in multiple sclerosis. NeuroRehabilitation (2016).

  • Zackowski KM. Gait and Balance Assessment. Semin Neurol (2016) 36: 474-478.

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