La Crosse Institute for Movement Science (LIMS)

The Health Science Center was built from a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Western Wisconsin Technical College, Viterbo University and Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare and Gundersen Health System to enhance health care, strengthen medical health science education, and encourage applied research initiatives. This multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary organization has provided an infrastructure for applied research activities to study movement and houses many of the health professions programs from the College of Science and Health at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  The majority of these activities are accomplished by our faculty/student research partnerships through our Strzelczyk Clinical Biomechanics Laboratory.

The study of movement is rather unique bringing scientists of various disciplines together on our campus in the quest for new knowledge. Biomechanics, in particular, is a multidisciplinary field blending the areas of medicine, engineering, computer science and anatomy. Certainly, the multidisciplinary nature of this field as well as the multidisciplinary nature of the Health Science Center warranted the creation of this institute on the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse campus. The goal was to bring both scientists and clinicians together in a common goal of movement research and clinical service.  As our laboratories are housed in a Physical Therapy program, much current research centers around injury and performance where we study loading on joints and tissues and try to alter performance to attempt to reduce injury.

Each year over 40 students from graduate and undergraduate programs across campus are involved in laboratory research including Physical Therapy, Exercise and Sport Science, Physics, and Biology.  High technology funding from the State of Wisconsin has supported several Physics Biomedical undergraduate student internships in the lab.  Many undergraduate students have presented at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research and some at professional meetings in biomechanics and sports medicine. Graduate students have presented research with LIMS faculty at professional conferences in physical therapy, sports medicine and biomechanics such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the Combined Sections Meeting for the American Physical Therapy Association or the American Society for Biomechanics and even the World Congress of Biomechanics.

The Institute is comprised of faculty and clinicians with expertise and interest in Movement Science. The current director of LIMS is Tom Kernozek, PhD. (

Current LIMS Members:

  • John Greany, PT, PhD, Exercise Physiologist, (Health Professions)
  • Drew Rutherford, MS, Motor Control, (Laboratory Manager, Health Professions)
  • Becky Heinert, MS, PT, SCS (Clinical Biomechanics, Winona State University)
  • Tom Kernozek, PhD, FACSM, Biomechanist, (Health Professions)
  • Naghmeh Gheidi, PhD, Biomechanist (Assistant Professor, Exercise & Sport Science)
  • Patrick Grabowski, PT, PhD, OCS, CSCS, Motor Control/Biomechanics (Health Professions)
  • Shane Murphy, ATC, PhD, Motor Control/Biomechanics (Health Professions)
  • Robert Ragan, PhD, Computational Physicist (Physics)
  • Kannikkai "Steni" Balan Sackiriyas, PT, DSc (Clinical Biomechanics)
  • C. Nathan Vannatta, DPT, SCS (Clinical Biomechanics, Gundersen Health System)

We have two main research spaces for data collection, one with a 15 camera motion motion analysis and 4 force plates (LIMS Strzelczyk Lab) and the new PACER (Performance Analysis for Clinical Exercise and Running Performance) lab.  The new PACER lab houses an split-belt instrumented treadmill and 10 camera motion analysis system.  A variety of scientific instruments are available for faculty/student research use through our laboratories.

LIMS Strzelczyk Lab

LIMS Performance Analysis for Clinical Exercise and Running Performance (PACER) Lab


To recognize the importance of teaching, research and service opportunities of faculty with expertise in movement science at UW-La Crosse, the College of Science and Health established the La Crosse Institute for Movement Sciences (LIMS). The formation of the La Crosse Institute for Movement Sciences serves as a formal mechanism to bring together as a cohesive group of interested faculty and clinicians with expertise related to movement science. The Institute has increased collaboration within the campus and increased and strengthened partnerships with healthcare, government, and other academic institutions in the region and nation. Benefits of the Institute include the following:

  • Greater visibility of this group externally and on campus
  • Greater diversity of expertise for teaching, research and service
  • Greater ability for compete for extramural resources at the state and national levels
  • Greater ability to recruit talented undergraduate and graduate students to this campus
  • More efficient use of resources

These benefits have enhanced the educational opportunities of the affected students and increased the stature of UWL as an excellent university.


Current LIMS initiatives, research activities, recent publications and recent projects are provided in our annual reports below: