Alena Grabowski
Associate Professor
Integrative Physiology

Office: Clare 103    
Fax: 303-492-4009

Research Interests

  • The interaction of physiology and biomechanics during human locomotion; specifically how the implementation of assistive mechanical devices, such as leg prostheses and exoskeletons, influence walking, running, hopping, jumping, bicycling, and sprinting.
  • Applied Biomechanics Laboratory.


  • 1995-1998, B.A., Kinesiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
  • 2002-2007, Ph.D., Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Professional Experience

  • 2007-2011, Post-doctoral Fellow, Media Lab Biomechatronics Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
  • 2009-2011, Research Scientist, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs - Providence VA Center for Restorative & Regenerative Medicine, Providence, RI
  • 2011-2012, Research Specialist, Prosthetics and Orthotics, Whirlwind Wheelchair International, San Francisco, CA
  • 2012-2013, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • 2013-2020, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
  • 2013-Present, Research Healthcare Scientist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver, CO
  • 2020-Present, Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Recent Publications

  • KR Ashcraft & AM Grabowski. Characterizing the Mechanical Stiffness of Passive-Dynamic Ankle-Foot Orthosis Struts. Front Rehab Sci, Published 15 April 2022
  • *ON Beck, P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. Sprinting with prosthetic versus biological legs: insight from experimental data. Royal Society Open Science Published 2022-1-5
  • RS Alcantara, WB Edwards, GY Millet, & AM Grabowski. Predicting continuous ground reaction forces from accelerometers during uphill and downhill running: A recurrent neural network solution. PeerJ Published Jan. 4, 2022
  • RS Alcantara. EM Day, ME Hahn, & AM Grabowski. Sacral acceleration can predict whole-body kinetics and stride kinematics across running speeds. PeerJ Published 2021-04-12 DOI 10.7717/peerj.11199
  • EM Day, RS Alcantara, MA McGeehan, AM Grabowski, & M Hahn. Low-pass filter cutoff frequency affects sacral-mounted inertial measurement unit estimations of peak vertical ground reaction force and contact time during treadmill running. Journal of Biomechanics 119, 110323 (2021)
  • X Hu, NT Pickle, AM Grabowski, AK Silverman, SS Blemker. Muscle Eccentric Contractions Increase in Downhill and High-Grade Uphill Walking. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, section Biomechanics 14 October 2020
  • E Etenzi, R Borzuola, & AM Grabowski. Passive-elastic knee-ankle exoskeleton reduces the metabolic cost of walking. Journal of Neuroengineering and Rehabilitation 17, 104 (2020).
  • RS Alcantara, ON Beck, & AM Grabowski. Added lower limb mass does not affect biomechanical asymmetry but increases metabolic power in runners with a unilateral transtibial amputation. European Journal of Applied Physiology 2020.
  • CZ Zai & AM Grabowski. The metabolic power required to support body weight and accelerate body mass changes during walking on uphill and downhill slopes. Journal of Biomechanics 103, 2020
  • P Taboga, ON Beck, & AM Grabowski. Prosthetic configuration affects top sprinting speeds of athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations. Plos One Published: February 20, 2020.
  • P Taboga, EK Drees, ON Beck, & AM Grabowski. Prosthetic model, but not stiffness or height, affects maximum running velocity in athletes with unilateral transtibial amputations. Nature Scientific Reports 2020 10:1763 1;
  • LA Davis, SP Allen, LD Hamilton, AM Grabowski, & RM Enoka. Differences in postural sway among healthy adults are associated with the ability to perform steady contractions with leg muscles. Experimental Brain Research 2020
  • SP Allen & AM Grabowski. Hopping with degressive spring stiffness in a full-leg exoskeleton lowers metabolic cost compared with progressive spring stiffness and hopping without assistance. Journal of Applied Physiology 2019 127: 520–530
  • J Funken, S Willwacher, K Heinrich, R Müller, H Hobara, AM Grabowski, & W Potthast. Long jumpers with and without a transtibial amputation have different 3D centre of mass and joint take-off step kinematics. Journal of the Royal Society Open Science Published: 17 April 2019 6: 190107.  
  • H Hobara, S Hashizume, J Funken, S Willwacher, R Müller, AM Grabowski, & W Potthast. Vertical stiffness during one-legged hopping with and without using a running-specific prosthesis. Journal of Biomechanics 2019 86: 34-39.
  • J Funken, S Willwacher, K Heinrich, R Müller, H Hobara, AM Grabowski & W Potthast. Three dimensional take-off step kinetics of long jumpers with and without a transtibial amputation. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2019 Apr 51 (4): 716-725.
  • ON Beck & AM Grabowski. Athletes with Versus Without Leg Amputations: Different Biomechanics, Similar Running Economy. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews Published online 2019 Jan 47 (1): 15-21. doi: 10.1249/jes.0000000000000174