People

The MCLab is fortunate to have the services of highly qualified researchers with interests and backgrounds in human motor control. All researchers are engaged in research conducted in collaboration with each other, students and clinicians. They have a distinguished record of publishing in refereed journals such as: Experimental Neurology, Journal of Neurophysiology, Physical Therapy, Experimental Brain Research, Human Movement Science, Developmental Brain Research, The Journal of Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, Clinical Neurophysiology, Journal of EMG & Kinesiology and Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics. These researchers are also actively involved in teaching, serve in professional organizations, participate in continuing educational programs, provide consultation and assistance to agencies and health care facilities statewide, and they are invited speakers at various national and international meetings.

Charles Leonard

Chuck Leonard

Dr. Charles T Leonard is an Emeritus Professor and founder of the Motor Control Laboratory (1990). To honor Dr. Leonard’s leadership and outstanding scientific contributions to the field of physical medicine and rehabilitation the laboratory now receives his name (Dr. Charles T Leonard Motor Control Laboratory). 

Dr. Leonard received his Master’s degree from Duke University in Physical Therapy, and a Doctorate in Neuroscience from The Medical College of Pennsylvania.  He received a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellowship to study at The Nobel Institute of Neurophysiology in Stockholm, Sweden.  Prior to his academic career, Dr. Leonard founded and directed Tri-County Rehabilitation Centers, a series of out-patient physical rehabilitation centers located in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware that employed over 20 therapists and consulting physicians.  Dr. Leonard has been at The University of Montana since 1990.  His work uses clinical neurophysiological techniques such as electromyography and transcranial magnetic stimulation to examine neural mechanisms that control muscle and joint coordination.  He has developed several treatment interventions for neurological injury including a unique upper extremity robotic device with telerehabilitation capabilities that was built in collaboration with Montana State University engineering faculty and students.  He has patented a computerized electronic device that quantifies muscle properties and began a University spinoff medical device company, Neurogenic Technologies, Inc. in 2001.  His work has been funded by The MJ Murdock Charitable Trust Foundation, NIH, NSF and NASA

MCLab Faculty

Alex Santos

Alex Santos

Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy, Director of Motor Control Laboratory

MCLab Students

Adriana Degani

Adriana Degani

Adriana is a Research Assistant and a PhD candidate at the Motor Control Laboratory. She has a Physical Therapy degree from Sao Carlos Federal University/Brazil and a Master’s degree in Human Motricity from Paulista State University/Brazil. Her long-term goals are to a) identify the mechanisms behind multi-muscle control and postural sway variability, b) investigate the effects of the natural aging process to the generation of multiple postural muscle synergies to control balance, and c) translate findings from clinical trials into practical applications to enhance human health. Adriana’s current studies focus on determining the effect of an aging central nervous system on coordinating multiple postural muscles to control balance.

Maria Santos

Maria Santos

Maria Santos is a Research Assistant at the Motor Control Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Montana. She is a Master's student in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Montana, with research interests in physical therapy and neuroscience. Maria has a Physical Therapy degree from Brunel University in London, U.K., and completed over seven months of academic internships in hospitals and clinics in the London area. She is a certified Physical Therapist in Portugal and the United Kingdom. She did graduate coursework in childrens' motor development at the School of Human Motricity, University of Lisbon, Portugal.