Alena Grabowski
Assistant 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 prostheses and exoskeletons, influence walking, running, hopping, 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-Present, Research Healthcare Scientist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Eastern Colorado Healthcare System, Denver, CO
  • 2013-Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.

Recent Publications

  • M Batliner, S Kipp, AM Grabowski, R Kram, & W Byrnes. Does metabolic rate increase linearly with running speed in all distance runners? Sports Medicine International Open 2017; 2018; 2: E1–E8.
  • ON Beck, AM Grabowski & JD Ortega. Neither total muscle activation nor co-activation explains the youthful walking economy of older runners. Gait and Posture 65 (2018) 163-168
  • ON Beck, EN Azua & AM Grabowski. Step time asymmetry increases metabolic energy expenditure during running European Journal of Applied Physiology
  • ON Beck & AM Grabowski. The biomechanics of the fastest sprinter with a unilateral transtibial amputation. Journal of Applied Physiology 124: 641–645, 2018. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00737.2017
  • ON Beck, S Kipp, JM Roby, AM Grabowski, R Kram, & JD Ortega. Older runners retain youthful running economy despite biomechanical differences. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 48(4) 697–704, 2016
  • ON Beck, P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. Characterizing the mechanical properties of running-specific lower-limb prostheses. PLoS ONE 11(12): e0168298. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0168298, 2016
  • ON Beck, P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. How do prosthetic stiffness, height, and running speed affect the biomechanics of athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations? 14: 20170230. Published 28 June 2017. Royal Society Interface DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2017.0230
  • ON Beck, P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. Prosthetic model, but not stiffness or height, affects the metabolic cost of running for athletes with unilateral transtibial amputations. 123 (1): 38-48. Published March 30, 2017. Journal of Applied Physiology  
  • ON Beck, P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. Reduced prosthetic stiffness lowers the metabolic cost of running for athletes with bilateral transtibial amputations. 122 (4): 976-984. Published Jan. 19, 2017. Journal of Applied Physiology DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00587.2016
  • RA Capobianco, DF. Feeney, JR Jeffers, J Morreale, RM Enoka, & AM Grabowski. Patients with sacroiliac joint dysfunction exhibit altered movement strategies when performing a sit-to-stand task. The Spine Journal DOI:
  • JR Jeffers & AM Grabowski. Effects of passive and powered ankle-foot prostheses on leg joint work during sloped walking. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology Front. Robot. AI, 22 December 2017
  • S Kipp, AM Grabowski, & R Kram. What determines the metabolic cost of human running across a wide range of velocities? Journal of Experimental Biology 2018 : jeb.184218 doi: 10.1242/jeb.184218 Published 31 July 2018
  • JR Montgomery (Jeffers) & AM Grabowski. The contributions of ankle, knee and hip joint work to individual leg work change during uphill and downhill walking over a range of speeds. Royal Society Open Science Published 29 August 2018
  • JR Montgomery (Jeffers) & AM Grabowski. Use of a Powered Ankle-Foot Prosthesis Reduces the Metabolic Cost of Uphill Walking and Improves Leg Work Symmetry in People with Transtibial Amputations. Journal of the Royal Society Interface Aug15 (145), 2018
  • NT Pickle, AM Grabowski, JR Jeffers, & AK Silverman. The Functional Roles of Muscles, Passive Prostheses and Powered prostheses during Sloped Walking in People with a Transtibial Amputation. ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 2017; BIO-17-1217 doi: 10.1115/1.4037938
  • NT Pickle, AM Grabowski, AG Auyang, & AK Silverman. The functional roles of muscles during sloped walking. Journal of Biomechanics 49 3244-3251, 2016
  • P Taboga, & AM Grabowski. Axial and Torsional Stiffness of Pediatric Prosthetic Feet. Clinical Biomechanics 42: 47-54, 2017.
  • P Taboga, R Kram, & AM Grabowski. Maximum-speed curve-running biomechanics of sprinters with and without unilateral leg amputations. Journal of Experimental Biology 219 851-858, 2016. doi:10.1242/jeb.133488
  • S Willwacher, J Funken, K Heinrich, R Müller, H Hobara, AM Grabowski, G-P Brüggemann, & W Potthast. Elite long jumpers with below the knee prostheses approach the board slower, but take-off more effectively than non-amputee athletes. Scientific Reports; 2017; 7: 16058; DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-16383-5