Kathleen M. Zackowski, Ph.D., O.T.R.

Dr. Kathleen Zackowski
Kathleen Zackowski
Faculty Member, Kennedy Krieger Institute

Kennedy Krieger Institute
707 N. Broadway
Baltimore, MD 21205
Phone: (443) 923-2717
Email: zackowski@kennedykrieger.org

Kathleen M. Zackowski, PhD, OTR, is an Associate Professor at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Departments of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Neurology.


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.


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.

LINK: SciVal Experts Research Profile for Kathleen Zakowski


Zackowski K.M., Smith S.A., Reich D.S., Gordon-Lipkin E., Chodkowski B.A., Sambandana D.R., Shteyman M., Bastian A.J., van Zijl P.C. and Calabresi P.A. Sensorimotor dysfunction in multiple sclerosis and column-specific magnetization transfer imaging abnormalities in the spinal cord. Brain, 132(5):1200-1209.

Morton S.M., Tseng Y., Zackowski K.M., Daline J.R. and Bastian A.J. Longitudinal tracking of gait and balance impairments in cerebellar disease. Movement Disorders, 25(12), 1944-52.

Newsome S.D., Kang J., Wang J., Calabresi P.A. and Zackowski K.M. Quantitative measures detect sensory and motor impairments in multiple sclerosis. Journal of the Neurological Sciences, 305(1-2), 103-111.

Jangouk P., Zackowski K.M., Naidu S. and Raymond G.V. Adrenoleukodystrophy in female heterozygotes: Underrecognized and undertreated. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 105(2), 180-185.

Keller J.L., Wang J.I., Kang J.Y., Hanson J.A., Kamath P., Raymond G.V., Swain J.O. and Zackowski K.M. Strength: A relevant link to functional performance in the neurodegenerative disease of Adrenomyeloneuropathy. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 26(9), 1080-1088.

Shiee N., Bazin P.L., Zackowski K.M., Farrell S.K., Caffo B.S., Harrison D.M., Calabresi P.A., Pham D.L. and Reich D.S. Revisiting brain atrophy and its relationship to disability in multiple sclerosis. PLoS ONE, 7(5). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037049

Oh J., Zackowski K., Chen M., Newsome S., Saidha S., Smith S.A., Diener-West M., Prince J., Jones C.K., van Zijl P.C.M., Calabresi P.A. and Reich D.S. Multiparametric MRI correlates of sensorimotor function in the spinal cord in multiple sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis, 19(4), 427-435.