Robert Motl, Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy, is the top-rated Walking expert in the world according to scientific data released by Expertscape. Based on the quality of his 126 published articles on Walking over the past ten years, Motl is ranked number one out of more than 95,000 published authors worldwide.

“Rob has long played an influential role in this area because of a deep commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of those in need through science and discovery,” said Dean Andrew J. Butler, Ph.D., UAB School of Health Professions. “He is respected by his colleagues and admired for his dedication and we are so glad to have him at UAB.”

For two decades, Motl has systematically developed a research agenda that focuses on ambulatory physical activity and its measurement, predictors, and consequences in persons with neurological diseases, particularly multiple sclerosis (MS). His work has resulted in foundational research on quantifying differences in ambulatory physical activity, particularly rates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, in persons with MS. His work has provided the basis for examining the potential benefits of outcomes of physical activity for those with MS in areas such as brain structure, cognition, depression, fatigue, walking disability, and quality of life.

“Our research on walking and ambulation has been conducted by a dedicated team of collaborators, post-doctoral fellows, and graduate students, and targets reversing one of the most troubling outcomes of MS, namely loss of walking,” said Motl, director, UAB Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory.

In recent years, Motl was part of a team of researchers awarded a $5.7 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to study methods of exercise delivery and the effects on people living with multiple sclerosis. In addition to his research, he is training the next generation of scientists in these areas. He recently was awarded a mentor-based postdoctoral fellowship from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to train promising rehabilitation professionals to conduct MS research.

Motl is heavily invested in collaborative research across UAB. He serves as a core leader with the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine and director of the Exercise Neuroscience Research Laboratory.

Expertscape searches the PubMed database to find all medical journal articles about a topic over the past ten years. Each article is then given a score based on year published, type of article, and the prestige of the journal. The method leads to an objective rank of all scientists and institutions.