Michael Lewek, PT, PhD

Michael Lewek, PT, PhD

Division of Physical Therapy
Department of Allied Health Sciences
3043 Bondurant Hall, CB# 7135
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7135
OFFICE: (919)966-9732 FAX: (919)966-3678

Email address: mlewek@med.unc.edu


Research Background & Interests

Biomechanical, neurophysiologic, and motor learning aspects of gait training following stroke


Current Funded Research

NIH/NICHD – R21HD068805  Error Based Learning for Restoring Gait Symmetry Post-Stroke” 1/15/12-12/31/13, Role: Principal Investigator

University Research Council – Small Grants Program: “The Use of Simultaneous Visual and Proprioceptive Feedback for Restoring Locomotor Symmetry in Adults with Cerebral Palsy” 5/12-4/13, Role: Principal Investigator

UNC/NC State Rehabilitation Engineering Center seed grant program – “Linking Mechanics and Energetics of Post-Stroke Locomotion”; Role: Co-Principal Investigator (with Greg Sawicki) 1/1/12 - 12/31/12


Post-doc, Neuromechanics, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

PhD, Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware

MPT, Physical Therapy, University of Delaware

BS, Exercise Science, Ithaca College


PHYT 730, Biomechanics and Kinesiology

PHYT 726, Exercise Foundations and Prescription

HMSC 710, Kinesiological EMG

HMSC Doctoral Seminar (Spring Session)


  1. Wutzke CJ, Sawicki GS, Lewek MD.  The influence of a unilateral fixed ankle on metabolic and mechanical demands during walking in unimpaired young adults. Journal of Biomechanics (in press).
  2. Rhea CK, Wutzke CJ, Lewek MD. Gait dynamics following variable and constant speed gait training in individuals with chronic stroke.  Gait Posture 2012 Jun;36(2):332-4.
  3. Lewek MD, Feasel J, Wentz E, Brooks Jr FP, Whitton MC.  The use of visual and proprioceptive feedback to improve gait speed and spatiotemporal symmetry following chronic stroke – a case series.  Physical Therapy Journal 2012 May;92(5):748-56.
  4. Lewek MD, Osborn AJ, Wutzke C.  The Influence of Mechanically and Physiologically Imposed Stiff Knee Gait Patterns on the Energy Cost of Walking.  Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2012 Jan;93(1):123-8.
  5. Macrum EC, Bell DR, Boling MC, Lewek MD, Padua DA.  Limiting Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion Alters Lower Extremity Kinematics and Muscle Activation Patterns during a Squat. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation 2012 May;21(2):144-50.
  6. Thompson CK, Lewek MD, Jayaraman A, Hornby TG. Central Excitability Contributes to Supramaximal Volitional Contractions in Human Incomplete Spinal Cord Injury.  J Physiol. 2011 Aug; 589(Pt 15):3739-52
  7. Lewek MD, Randall EP.  Reliability of Spatiotemporal Asymmetry During Overground Walking for Individuals Following Chronic Stroke.  Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 2011; 35(3):116-121.
  8. Feasel J, Whitton MC, Kassler L, Brooks Jr FP, Lewek MD.  The Integrated Virtual Environment Rehabilitation Treadmill System. IEEE Trans Neural Syst Rehabil Eng. 2011; 19(3):290-7.
  9. Segal RL, Lewek MD, McCulloch K, Mercer VS.   The Necessity for Effective Interaction between Basic Scientists and Rehabilitation Clinicians.  Cells Tissues Organs. 2011; 193(5):290-7.
  10. Lewek MD.  The Influence of Body Weight Support on Ankle Mechanics During Treadmill Walking. Journal of Biomechanics 2011 Jan; 44(1):128-133.
  11. Lewek MD, Breslin R, Hlad L, Lanton A, St John J.  Non-paretic quadriceps activity influences paretic quadriceps activity post-stroke.  Clin Neurophysiol. 2010 Nov; 121(11):1962-1967.
  12. Lewek MD, Poole R, Johnson J, Halawa O, Huang X.  Arm Swing Magnitude and Asymmetry During Gait in the Early Stages of Parkinson’s Disease.  Gait & Posture 2010  Feb 31(2): 256-260.
  13. Lewek MD.  The value of overground gait training for improving locomotion post-stroke.  Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 2009  Dec 33(4):187-188.
  14. Cruz TH, Lewek MD, Dhaher YY.  Biomechanical impairments and gait adaptations post-stroke: multi-factorial associations.  Journal of Biomechanics 2009 Aug 7;42(11):1673-7.
  15. Lewek MD, Cruz TH, Moore JL, Roth HR, Dhaher YY, Hornby TG. Allowing intralimb kinematic variability during locomotor training poststroke improves kinematic consistency: a subgroup analysis from a randomized clinical trial.  Phys Ther. 2009 Aug;89(8):829-39.
  16. Courtney CA, Lewek MD, Witte PO, Chmell SJ, Hornby TG.  Heightened flexor withdrawal responses in subjects with knee osteoarthritis. J Pain. 2009 Dec; 10(12):1242-9.
  17. Hornby TG, Lewek MD, Thompson CK, Heitz R.  Repeated maximal volitional effort contractions in human spinal cord injury: Initial torque increases and reduced fatigue.  Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2009 Nov; 23(9):928-38.
  18. Lewek MD, Hornby TG, Dhaher YY, Schmit BD.  Prolonged quadriceps activity following imposed hip extension: A neurophysiological mechanism for stiff-knee gait?  Journal of Neurophysiology 2007: 98(6) 3153-62.
  19. Rudolph KS, Schmitt LC, Lewek MD. Age-related changes in strength, joint laxity and walking patterns: Are they related to knee osteoarthritis?  Physical Therapy 2007; 87(11) 1422-32.
  20. Ramsey DK, Snyder-Mackler L, Lewek MD, Newcomb W, Rudolph KS. Effect of anatomical realignment on muscle function during gait in patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis.  Arthritis Care & Research 2007:57(3):389-97.
  21. Lewek MD, Schmit BD, Hornby TG, Dhaher Y.  Hip joint position modulates volitional knee extensor muscle activity after stroke.  Muscle and Nerve. 2006: 34(6) 767-74.
  22. Lewek MD, Scholz J, Rudolph KS, Snyder-Mackler L.  Stride-to-stride variability of knee motion in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Gait & Posture. 2006: 23(4) 505-11.
  23. Lewek MD, Ramsey D, Snyder-Mackler L, Rudolph KS.  Knee stabilization in patients with medial knee osteoarthritis.  Arthritis & Rheumatism 2005; 52(9) 2845-53.
  24. Risberg MA, Lewek MD, Snyder-Mackler L.  Evidence for ACL rehabilitation: How much and what type?  Physical Therapy in Sport. 2004: 5(3) 125-45.
  25. Lewek MD, Rudolph KS, Snyder-Mackler L.  Control of frontal plane knee laxity during gait in patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 2004: 12(9):745-51.
  26. Lewek MD, Rudolph KS, Snyder-Mackler L.  The incidence of activation failure in the quadriceps femoris muscle in patients with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis.  Journal of Orthopedic Research. 2004: 22(1) 110-115.
  27. LaStayo PC, Woolf J, Lewek MD, Snyder-Mackler L, Reich T, Lindstedt SL.  Eccentric muscle contractions:  Their contribution to injury, prevention, rehabilitation and sport.  Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 2003: 33(10) 557-571.
  28. Lewek MD, Chmielewski TL, Risberg M, Snyder-Mackler L.  Dynamic knee stability in the ACL deficient knee.  Exercise and Sport Science Reviews. 2003: 31(4)195-200.
  29. Lewek MD, Rudolph KS, Axe MJ, Snyder-Mackler L. The effect of insufficient quadriceps strength on gait after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Clinical Biomechanics 2002: 17(1) 56-63.
  30. Williams GN, Higgins MJ, Lewek M.  Aging skeletal muscle: physiologic changes and the effects of training.  Physical Therapy.  2002: 82 (1) 62-68.
  31. Lewek MD, Stevens J, Snyder-Mackler L. The use of electrical stimulation to increase quadriceps femoris muscle strength in an elderly patient following a total knee arthroplasty. Physical Therapy 2001: 81 (9) 1565-1571.

Professional Societies

Society for Neuroscience

American Physical Therapy Association; Member of Neurology and Research Sections

American Society of Biomechanics


Junior Faculty Development Award, UNC-Chapel Hill,  2010

Margaret L Moore Award for Outstanding New Academic Faculty Member, APTA, 2010