Kenneth G. Holt, PhD, PT
Kenneth G. Holt, PhD, PT
- Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training
- Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science, Biomechanics/Ergonomics; University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA (1985 – 1989)
Master of Science in Physical Therapy; Boston University, Boston, MA (1981-1983)
Study toward Doctor of Philosophy, Biobehavioral Science (Dynamic Systems/Motor Control); University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT (1978 – 1980)
Master of Science, Physical Education, Motor Control; Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (1976 – 1978)
Education, Physical, BEd; Education, Mathematics, Cert. Ed., Nottingham University, England (1969 – 1973)
Bachelor of Education (Education/Physical Education), Certificate in Education (Mathematics); Nottingham University, England (1969 – 1973)
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“Walking Like a Cavewoman” — Dr. Holt and BU Arts & Sciences anthropologist Jeremy DeSilva discuss how they unraveled the mystery of how a human ancestor walked.
Doctor of Physical Therapy Program (Fall, Year 3)
- Instructor, HP 725 Health Promotion and Education Theory
Promoting health and preventing disease are crucial components of health—for people with and without chronic illness and disability. For physical therapists to achieve this, development of excellent teaching skills is essential as they communicate important health related lessons and participate in health promotion interventions for the public, their patients, colleagues and peers. Thus, there are two main and connected threads to this course – 1) Students learn to appreciate excellent teaching and to start to become excellent teachers, 2) Students learn how to use those skills to promote health and prevent disease. Assignments and presentations will be used to integrate the two aspects of the course. Through lecture and participatory activities, and read about the habits of the ‘best’ teachers, the course will focus on teaching skills applicable across a variety of settings, such as classroom teaching, in-service presentations, community settings, and patient education. Students will focus specifically on developing and applying teaching skills appropriate for the audience and instructional setting in the context of health promotion interventions, learning how to deliver health promotion and wellness interventions that are theoretically informed and evidence-based. The unique and challenging factors of implementing health promotion programs at individual, organizational, and community levels will also be explored.
Doctor of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences Program
- Instructor, HP 565 Advanced Kinesiology and Biomechanics
A lecture/discussion course designed to provide the student with the basic concepts of biomechanics and how they apply to normal and dysfunctional movement. The most important goal of the course is that students will learn to think like biomechanists as they attempt to better understand movement patterns, and to use this knowledge to guide clinical interventions. There will be many examples of applications to special populations across the lifespan (for example, athletes, individuals with orthopedic injuries, and those with central nervous system disorders). Topics will include: normal and abnormal gait and posture; traditional and contemporary ways to measure gait; static and dynamic joint and muscle forces; integration of biomechanics, motor control, and physiology; measurement of efficiency and stability. The course will stress traditional Newtonian and an introduction to non-linear laws of physics as they apply to human motion.
- Instructor, RS 790 Teaching Skills.
The role of the researcher as teacher is highly valued but seldom emphasized in graduate education. This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice sound teaching and learning principles and mechanics into the teaching of College-level students. Students will be required to present a class four times during the semester. Following presentations, the student will be critiqued by the instructor and by peers. Students will also be given a number of readings around which discussion will take place. Discussion will emphasize how students might incorporate the lessons from their readings into the next presentation. Finally students will be required to develop a detailed course outline and schedule and a sample lesson. Ideally this will be preparation for a class that the student may eventually teach. The primary emphasis will be on teaching of medium to large classes using the lecture method.
- Course Coordinator, Advanced Human Movement
A lecture/reading/seminar course that is designed to allow students to integrate the information they have learned in Philosophy of Science, Biomechanics, and Foundations of Motor Control. The course takes seriously the idea that human movement emerges through a process of ‘self-organization’- a way to distribute the control and coordination of movement that does not assign unnecessary and philosophically challenging responsibility to the brain. Self-organization can be thought to emerge from the interplay of organismic, environmental and task constraints. The course is taught by faculty of the PT department and by invited guest speakers, who will discuss the physical laws governing self-organization – biomechanics (including constraints arising from human anatomy), and non-linear dynamics (coordination and task dynamics, perception-action coupling). Research performed in these specific domains will be the topics of the course. Differences and similarities of applied laws and associated concepts will be illustrated specific functions will be addressed including gait patterns and transitions
Scholarly and Practice Interests
- Design and biomechanical testing of soft exoskeletons for use in the armed services and for rehabilitation.
- Biomechanical approach to understanding chronic musculoskeletal injuries. Private clinical practice and experimental research.
- Dynamical Systems approach to understanding motor control and rehabilitation practices. Theoretical and experimental research.
- Biomechanical approach to physical anthropology puzzles
- Biomechanical effects of load carriage on walking gait.
- Asbeck, A. DeRossi, MM. Holt, KG. Walsh CJ. (accepted with revisions) A Biologically-Inspired Soft Exosuit for Walking Assistance. International Journal of Robotics Research.
- Monaghan, G. Hsu, W-H. Lewis CL, Saltzman E, Hamill J, Holt KG (in press, 2014). Forefoot angle determines duration and amplitude of pronation during running. Clinical Biomechanics
- Caron, R. Lewis, CL. Saltzman E. Wagenaar, RO. Holt, KG. (accepted with revisions) Musculoskeletal stiffness changes linearly in response to increasing load during walking gait. Journal of Biomechanics
- Hsu WH, Monaghan, GM, Lewis, CL, Saltzman, E, Hamill, J, Holt, KG (2014). Orthoses posted in both the forefoot and rearfoot reduce moments and impulses on lower extremity joints during walking Journal of Biomechanics 47 2618-2625.
- Saltzman, E., & Holt, KG (2014). Movement forms: A graph-dynamic perspective. Ecological Psychology
- DeSilva JM, Holt, KG, Churchill, SE, Carlson, KJ, Walker, CS, Zipfel, B, Berger , L (2013) The Lower Limb and Mechanics of Walking in Australopithecus sediba, Science 340(6129):1232999
- Caron RR Wagenaar, RC Lewis, CL Saltzman E, Holt KG (2013) Forward lean maintains center of mass trajectory and orientation to ankle and knee in sagittal plane with increasing backpack load during walking Journal of Biomechanics 46(1):70-76
- Monaghan, G. Lewis CL Hsu, W-H, Saltzman E, Hamill J, Holt KG (2013) Forefoot angle determines duration and amplitude of pronation during walking. Gait and Posture, 38(1):8-13.
- Wehner, M, Quinliven, B, Aubin, PM, Martinez-Villalpando, E, Bauman, M, Stirling, L, Holt, KG, Wood, RJ, Walsh, C. (2013) Design and evaluation of a lightweight soft exosuit for Gait Assistance. Proceedings IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation
- Goldfield, EC, Park, Y-L, Chen, B-R, Hsu, WH, Young, D, Wehner, M, Kelty-Stephen, DG, Stirling, L, Weinberg, M, Newman, D, Nagpal, N, Saltzman, E. Holt, KG, Walsh, C, Wood, RJ (2012). Bio-inspired design of soft orthotic devices: The interface of Physics, Biology, and Behavior. Ecological Psychology, 24:300-327.
- Stephen, DG, Hsu, WH, Saltzman, E, Holt, KG, Newman, DJ, Weinberg,M, Wood, RJ, Nagpal, R, Young, Goldfield, EC. (2012) Multifractal fluctuations in joint angles during infant spontaneous kicking reveal multiplicativity-driven coordination” Chaos, Solitons, & Fractals, 45 1201-1219.
- Cauraugh, JH, Naik, SK, Hsu, WH, Coombes, SA, Holt, KG (2010) Children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis on gait and electrical stimulation. Clinical Rehabilitation,
- Gross, KD, Niu, J., Zhang, YQ, Felson, DT, McLellan, C Hannan, MT, Holt, KG, Hunter, DJ (2008) The Varus Foot and Hip Conditions In Older Adults. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 56 (9) 2993-2998.
- Holt, KG, Wagenaar, RO, Saltzman, E. (2010) A dynamic systems/constraints approach to rehabilitation. Brazilian Journal of Physical Therapy, 14(9) 446-463.
- Cauraugh, JH, Naik, SK, Hsu, WH, Coombes, SA, Holt, KG (2010) Children with cerebral palsy: a systematic review and meta-analysis on gait and electrical stimulation. Clinical Rehabilitation.
- Sharpe, S. Holt, KG, Saltzman, E. Wagenaar, RO. (2008). Effects of a hip belt on transverse plane trunk coordination and stability. Journal of Biomechanics. 968-976.
- Smith, BA, Kubo, M, Black, D, Holt, KG, Ulrich, DB. (2007) Impact of practice on a novel task, walking on a treadmill: preadolescents with and without Down syndrome. Physical Therapy Journal.
- Gross, KD, Niu, J, Zhang, YQ, Felson, DT, McLellan, C Hannan, MT, Holt, KG, Hunter, DJ (2007). The Varus Foot and Hip Conditions In Older Adults. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 56, 2993-2998.
- Holt, KG, Saltzman, E, Ho, CL, Ulrich, BD. (2007) Scaling of dynamics in the earliest stages of walking. Physical Therapy. 1458-1467.
- Barak, Y, Wagenaar, RC, Holt, KG. (2006) Gait characteristics of elderly people with a history of falls: A dynamic approach. Physical Therapy, 86, 1501-1510.
- Holt, KG, Saltzman, E, Ho, CL, Kubo, M, Ulrich, BD. (2006) Discovery of the pendulum and spring dynamics in the early stages of walking. Journal of Motor Behavior, 38, 206-218.
- Ho, CL, Holt, KG, Saltzman, E, Wagenaar, RC. (2006) Functional electrical stimulation changes dynamic resources in children with spastic cerebral palsy: Dynamic modeling approach. Physical Therapy 86, 987-1000.
- Kubo, M, Wagenaar, RC, Holt, KG, Saltzman, E. (2006) Changes in axial stiffness of the trunk as a function of walking speed. Journal of Biomechanics 39, 750-757.
- Holt, KG. (2005) Biomechanical Models, Motor Control Theory and Development. Infant and Child Development.14, 523-527.
- Andres, RO, Holt, KG, Kubo, M. (2005) Impact of railroad ballast type on frontal plane ankle kinematics during walking. Applied Ergonomics 36, 529-534.
- Holt, KG Building the Superman Suit: Lessons from Biology: The Pellecchia Memorial Lecture, University of Connecticut, Oct 2013.
- Holt, KG Principles for Building Biologically-Inspired Exoskeletons, June 2013, University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Holt, KG The Relationship Between Foot Structure and Abnormal Lower Extremity Biomechanics, June 2013, University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Holt, KG Energy Transfer in Human Locomotion, June 2013, University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Holt, KG How we walk: Implications for the development of a soft exoskeleton for load carriage, June 2013, University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
- Holt, KG. Modeling Active-Passive Dynamics. Invited Presentation: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University. June 2012.
- Holt, KG. How We Walk: Implications for the Development of a Soft Exoskeleton Invited Presentation: Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University Feb 2012.
- Saltzman, E. & Holt, KG. Movement forms: A graph-dynamic perspective. Invited paper presented at the XVIII Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies as part of the pre-conference session “Realism to Relevance: An Ecological Approach to Perception, Action, and Cognition (A Festschrift to Honor the Scientific and Mentoring Contributions of Herbert L. Pick, Jr.)”, Minneapolis, MN June, 2012
- Saltzman, E. & Holt, KG. A graph-dynamic perspective on movement forms. Invited paper presented at the Guy van Orden UConn Workshop on Cognition and Dynamics, VII, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT. August, 2012
- Saltzman, E, Holt, KG A graph-dynamic perspective on movement forms. Paper presented at the Workshop on Cognition and Dynamics, VII, University of Connecticut, Storrs CT. 2012
- Holt, KG How do we walk: Implications for the development of orthotic and prosthetic devices. Wyss Institute, Children’s Hospital, Boston June 2010
- Holt, KG Learning to walk: Lessons for the application of FES, In NIH Grant supported Conference: Applications of Artificial Walking Technologies for FES-assisted Gait in Cerebral Palsy, Palo Alto, May 2010
- Holt, KG Learning the dynamics of walking: A guide for intervention. Boston Action Club, Sept 2009
- Holt, KG “The Role of Biomechanics in Determining the Coordination Patterns in Walking”. Invited Address, II Brazilian Congress of Motor Behavior – New Horizons in Motor Behavior, Federal University of Minas Gerais State (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brasil, Sept 2004.
- Holt, KG. “Discovering Pendulum and Spring Dynamics: Biomechanical Insights into How Children Learn to Walk”. British Association of Sports and Exercise Science. Invited presentation, Brunel University, East London, United Kingdom, Sept 2008
- Holt, KG. “Systems, Constraints, and the Classification of Dis(en)ablement.” Rehabilitation Sciences Symposium, University of Connecticut, Fall 2007
- Holt, KG, Linzer, S “Active and Passive Dynamics in Walking: A Guide for Prosthetic Design?” Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab, Sept, MA 2007.
- Holt, KG “Understanding the Active-Passive Dynamics of Walking: A Guide for Intervention.” American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting, Boston, MA, Feb 2007.
- Holt, KG. “Systems Dynamics, Control and Coordination of Locomotion” University of Florida, Dec 2006.
- Holt, KG. “Learning the Dynamics of Walking: Implications for children with Altered Dynamic Resources.” North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity, Denver, CO, June 2006.
- Holt, KG “Discovery of Pendulum and Spring Dynamics in the Early Stages of Walking.” University of Michigan, Dynamic Walking Conference, May 2006.
- Holt, KG. “Biomechanics, Functional Anatomy and Chronic Injury” University of Connecticut, Feb 2006.
- Holt, KG. “Dynamics and Disability” Center for the Ecological Study of Action and Perception.” University of Connecticut, Nov 2005
Selected Grant Activity
- DARPA Warrier Web. PI on subcontract (Conor Walsh PI) Smart Exoskeleton Suit: Biomedically Synergistic Body Support and Protection System Task B Phase 1 (2014-2016)
- DARPA Warrier Web. PI on subcontract (Conor Walsh PI) Smart Exoskeleton Suit: Biomedically Synergistic Body Support and Protection System Phase 2A/B 11-72 (2013-2015)
- NSF PI on subcontract (Conor Walsh, PI CPS: TTP Option: Synergy: Human-Machine Interaction with Mobility Enhancing Soft Exosuits (2014-2017)
- DARPA Warrier Web. PI on subcontract (Conor Walsh PI) Smart Exoskeleton Suit: Biomedically Synergistic Body Support and Protection System Task A Phase 1 11-72-WW-FP-019 (2012-2013).
- National Institutes of Health. Investigator. (Jessica Rose, PI) Applications of Artificial Walking Technologies for FES-assisted Gait in Cerebral Palsy 1R13HD062146-01 (2010)
- National Science Foundation, PI on subcontract. (Goldfield, E. PI) Programmable second skin for re-educating injured nervous systems. 2009-2013.
- Collaborator (Jessica Rose, PI) Development of multicenter grant on FES in Cerebral Palsy. (2009); National Institute of Health Travel Grant.
- PI on subcontract.: Programmable Second Skin to Reeducate the Injured Nervous System. (2009 – 2012); National Science Foundation.
- Principal Investigator: Dynamic Resources Modeling Approach as a Guide to FES Intervention in Children with CP, National Institutes of Health
- Principal Investigator: Inertial Sensing of Stiffness Modulation for Control of Robotic Assistive Devices in Infants at Risk of Cerebral Palsy; Center for the Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) (2008)
- Co-Principal Investigator (with David Hunter, PI, Boston Medical Center); A Randomized Trial of Realignment Therapy for Treatment of Medial Knee Osteoarthritis 2004 – 2008; National Institute for Disability, Rehabilitation Research
- Co-Principal Investigator (with David Hunter, PI, Boston Medical Center); Foot Mechanical Disorders and their association with hip and low back pain 2003 – 2004; Boston University Aging Research Center
- Primary Investigator on subcontract: University of Michigan (PI – Dr. Beverly Ulrich) Modeling Dynamic Resources to Solve Movement Problems, 2002 – 2006; National Institutes of Health
- Principal Investigator: Models of Human Locomotion: Implications for Load Carriage 2000 – 2002; United States Army
- Co-Principal Investigator (with Dr. Robert Wagenaar); Predicting Falls in the Elderly 1999 – 2000; National Institute of Aging, Roybal Center
- Principal Investigator: Efficacy of Functional Electrical Stimulation of Children with Spastic Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy, 2000 – 2002; United Cerebral Palsy
Consulting and Professional Activities
- P.T./Research Consultant, Ergonomic Engineering, Inc.; Sept 1991 – present
- Expert Witness, Biomotion Consulting (self); 1992 – present
- Owner Biomotion Physical Therapy; 1994-present
Awards and Honors
Whitney R. Powers Award for Teaching Excellence, BU College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences: Sargent College, 2013
Licensing and Certification
Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Registration in Allied Health Professions, PT Licensure