Rochester, Minnesota




The research of Melissa M. Morrow, Ph.D., is focused on investigating causes, treatments and outcomes of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, with a special emphasis on women's musculoskeletal health.

Using advanced techniques in laboratory motion analysis, field-based activity monitoring and imaging, she is examining knee osteoarthritis, joint replacement and shoulder impingement.

Focus areas

  • Sex differences in knee osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the knee is a leading cause of disability in the U.S., as it affects more than 10 million adults. While both men and women are diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis at troubling rates, women have a higher prevalence and incidence than men.

    Despite increased prevalence and severity in women, less attention has been given to factors potentially specific to women. The goal of this research is to characterize the differences in disease severity, manifestation and outcomes between men and women with knee osteoarthritis.

  • Activity and motion monitoring in the field as evidence-based outcomes measures following rehabilitation or orthopedic surgery. Multiple projects are ongoing that use advanced devices for kinematic monitoring of subject activities in their home and community environments to enable a real-world assessment of therapeutic outcomes.
  • Shoulder pain and injury in manual wheelchair users. The overall goal of this work is to identify the key factors that contribute to shoulder pain and injury in the manual wheelchair population.

    With this information, Dr. Morrow and her colleagues can identify types of activities or types of loading that place a manual wheelchair user at an increased risk of shoulder pain and injury. This information can be used to aid in rehabilitation and prevention strategies to mitigate the risk of injury.

Significance to patient care

Dr. Morrow's research is aimed at improving patient care through identifying and reducing risk factors for orthopedic conditions and improving treatment through comprehensive outcomes studies.

Clinical Studies

See my clinical studies


See my publications


Administrative Appointment

  1. Senior Associate Consultant II-Research, Division of Health Care Policy & Research, Department of Health Sciences Research

Academic Rank

  1. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering


  1. BASIC SCIENCE MASTERS Clinical and Translational Science, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  2. Research Scholar - NIH K12 Career Development Program, Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) Scholar, Women's Health Research Center Department of Orthopedic Surgery
  3. Post Doctoral Fellowship - NIH T32 Rehabilitation Training Fellow Department of Orthopedic Surgery
  4. PhD Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Track, Programs, Mayo Graduate School, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  5. BSE - Biomedical Engineering Tulane University

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