Kristina M. Kelly, PT, DPT, MS, EdM, NCS, CPT, PES

Kristina M. Kelly

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Assistant Research Professor



Dr. Kelly’s research focuses on understanding and treating motor dysfunction and fatigue in people aging with neuromuscular conditions. She uses clinically relevant methods to study the motor unit and the peripheral and central influences on its function in health and disease across adulthood. Through identification of convergent as well as divergent mechanisms amongst healthy aging and neuromuscular disease populations, her work aims to explain common targets for function-preserving or -restoring interventions while also providing insight into the potential need for specialized approaches in disorders of the motor unit. The overall goal of her work is to develop evidence-based, patient-centered therapeutic approaches with emphasis on exercise and healthy behaviors to enhance motor performance and maximize healthspan.

Academic Information

Assistant Research Professor


1030 Hitt Street
NextGen Precision Health Building
Columbia, MO 65212
United States

P. 573-884-2924

Research Interests

  • Neuromuscular correlates of motor function and fatigue
  • Mechanisms of exercise as treatment for neuromuscular disorders
  • Aging phenotypes in neuromuscular disease
  • Patient-centered measures and interventions to enhance chronic disease management


Areas of Expertise

  • Adults with Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Neurologic Physical Therapy
  • Neuromuscular Physiologic Assessment and Outcome Measures
  • Motor Behavior Change
  • Exercise Prescription in Health and Disease

Awards & Honors

  • University of Missouri NIH K Proposal Development Club, 2023
  • The OSU Women’s Place Critical Difference for Women Professional Development Grant, 2018
  • ABPTS Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Neurologic Physical Therapy, 2018 – Present
  • Foundation for Physical Therapy Florence P. Kendall Post-Professional Doctoral Scholarship, 2017
  • The Ohio State University Neuroscience Research Institute Travel Award, 2017
  • FSBPT Physical Therapy Licensure, 2015 – Present
  • University of Vermont Graduate College Mini-Grant Travel Award, 2015
  • University of Vermont DPT Sangwook Ahn Award for Leadership and Social Responsibility, 2014
  • University of Vermont Rehabilitation and Movement Sciences Graduate Assistantship, 2012 – 2014
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine Performance Enhancement Specialist, 2009 – Present
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, 2008 – Present
  • Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society, Inducted 2001
  • Golden Key International Honor Society, Inducted 2001
  • The National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Inducted 2000
  • Boston University School of Management LOCK Honorary Service Society, 1999 – 2002


  • Kelly KM, Mizell J, Bigdeli L, Paul S, Tellez MA, Bartlett, A, Heintzman S, Reynolds JE, Sterling GB, Rajneesh KF, Kolb SJ, Elsheikh B, Arnold WD.
    Differential impact on motor unit characteristics across disease severities in adult spinal muscular atrophy.
    Annals of Clinical & Translational Science. In Revision.
  • Sadjadi R, Kelly K, Glanzman, AM, Montes, J, Linsenmayer M, Tellez M, Bartlett A, Heintzman S, Kolb SJ, Arnold WD, Elsheikh B.
    Psychometric Evaluation of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Functional Rating Scale (SMAFRS) in adult patients using Rasch Analysis.
    Muscle & Nerve. 2023;67(3):239-243.
  • Rich KA, Fox A, Yalvac M, Heintzman S, Tellez M, Bartlett A, Severyn S, Linsenmayer M, Kelly K, Reynolds J, Sterling G, Weaver T, Rajneesh K, Pino MG, Arnold WD, Elsheikh B, Kolb SJ.
    Neurofilament Levels in CSF and Serum in an Adult SMA Cohort treated with Nusinersen.
    Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases. 2022; 9(1): 111-119.
  • Gauthier LV, Nichols-Larsen DS, Uswatte G, Strahl N, Simeo M, Proffitt R, Kelly K, Crawfis R, Taub E, Morris D, Lowes LP, Mark V, Borstad A.
    Video Game Rehabilitation for Outpatient Stroke (VIGoROUS): a multi-site randomized controlled trial of in-home, self-managed, upper-extremity therapy.
    eClinical Medicine. 2022 Jan 1;43: 101239.
  • Gauthier LV, Proffitt R, Borstad A, Kelly KM.
    Constraint-induced movement therapy via telehealth builds client autonomy.
    Brain Injury Professional. 2021 Nov; 18(2): 20-22.
  • Arnold WD, Severyn S, Zhao S, Kline D, Linsenmayer M, Kelly K, Tellez M, Bartlett A, Heintzman S, Reynolds J, Sterling G.
    Persistent neuromuscular junction transmission defects in adults with spinal muscular atrophy treated with nusinersen.
    BMJ Neurology Open. 2021; 3(2).
  • Elsheikh B, Severyn S, Zhao S, Kline D, Linsenmayer M, Kelly K, Tellez M, Bartlett A, Heintzman S, Reynolds J, Sterling G.
    Safety, Tolerability, and Effect of Nusinersen Treatment in Ambulatory Adults With 5q-SMA.
    Frontiers in Neurology. 2021 May 20;12: 816.
  • Elsheikh B, Severyn S, Zhao S, Kline D, Linsenmayer M, Kelly K, Tellez M, Bartlett A, Heintzman S, Reynolds J, Sterling G.
    Safety, tolerability, and effect of Nusinersen in non-ambulatory adults with spinal muscular atrophy.
    Frontiers in Neurology. 2021 Apr 16;12: 542.