Craig McGowan

Title(s)Associate Professor of Clinical Integrative Anatomical Sciences
SchoolKeck School of Medicine of Usc
Address1333 San Pablo St.
Health Sciences Campus
Los Angeles CA 90033
ORCID ORCID Icon0000-0002-5424-2887 Additional info
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    Other Positions
    Title(s)Director of the PhD Program in Integrative Anatomical Sciences

    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse Education and Training
    Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZBS2000Biology
    Harvard University, Cambridge, MAPhD2006Biology
    University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder, COPostdoc2009Integrative Physiology
    University of Texas, Austin, Austin, TXPostdoc2010Mechanical Engineering
    Collapse Awards and Honors
    University of Idaho2020Award for Teaching Excellence
    University of Idaho2018  - 2020University Mid-Career Award
    University of Idaho2015Award for Teaching Excellence
    University of Idaho2014Alumni Award for Excellence in Mentoring
    National Center for Simulation in Rehabilitation Research2012Outstanding Researcher Award
    American Society of Biomechanics2010Young Scientist Post-doctoral Award

    Collapse Overview 
    Collapse Overview
    Dr. McGowan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Integrative Anatomical Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Prior to joining USC, he spent ten years in the Department of Biological Sciences and the WWAMI Medical Education Program at the University of Idaho. He received his PhD in Biology from Harvard University and was an NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Integrated Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, Austin.

    Dr. McGowan's research program seeks to understand the relationships between musculoskeletal morphology and the biomechanics of locomotor performance. His research team addresses questions geared towards understanding the in-vivo dynamics of individual muscles, the influence of musculoskeletal architecture on muscle function, and the links between limb morphology, whole body locomotor performance and habitat utilization. Using a comparative approach, he integrates a number of research techniques including in-vivo muscle-tendon measurements, musculoskeletal modeling and computer simulation, whole body physiology and biomechanics, and measurements of performance and habitat use in the field to examine how humans and other animals maneuver through their natural environments.

    Collapse Research 
    Collapse Research Activities and Funding
    COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH: Elucidating the contributions of nonlinearities in musculotendon properties to enabling locomotion in unpredictable environments
    NSF - IOS NSF 2128546Apr 1, 2022 - Mar 31, 2025
    Role: PI
    Description: The overall objective of this proposal is to elucidate how specific features within the musculoskeletal system can express contextually appropriate behaviors in complex environments to achieve desired motor function without needing reflex interventions from the nervous system.
    CAREER: Establishing links between musculoskeletal morphology and the biomechanics of bipedal hopping in desert environments
    NSF - IOS NSF 2114591Apr 1, 2016 - Mar 31, 2023
    Role: PI
    Description: The goal of this project is to elucidate the relationships between morphology and performance through experiments aimed at understanding how different muscles contribute to movement tasks and how specific musculoskeletal features such as lever arms, segment lengths or tendon thickness impact the function of these muscles during locomotion in mechanically challenging natural environments

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse Publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Researchers can login to make corrections and additions, or contact us for help. to make corrections and additions.
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    Altmetrics Details PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Effects of a Total Motion Release (TMR®) Protocol for the Single Leg Squat on Asymmetrical Movement Patterns. Int J Sports Phys Ther. 2024; 19(1):1473-1483. Martonick NJ, McGowan CP, Baker RT, Larkins LW, Seegmiller JG, Bailey JP. PMID: 38179584; PMCID: PMC10761630.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    2. Examining movement asymmetries during three single leg tasks using interlimb and single subject approaches. Phys Ther Sport. 2023 Sep; 63:24-30. Martonick NJP, McGowan CP, Baker RT, Larkins LW, Seegmiller JG, Bailey JP. PMID: 37441835.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    3. Differences in lower extremity joint stiffness during drop jump between healthy males and females. J Biomech. 2023 07; 156:111667. Chun Y, McGowan CP, Seegmiller JG, Baker RT, Bailey JP. PMID: 37300979.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    4. Effect of instrument type and one-handed versus two-handed grips on force application during simulated instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilisation. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2023; 9(2):e001483. Martonick NJ, North K, Reeves A, McGowan C, Baker RT. PMID: 37101911; PMCID: PMC10124263.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:
    5. Vegetation and vantage point influence across diverse ecosystems: Implications for animal ecology. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. 2022; (10:911051). Stein, R.M., Lecigne, B., Eitel, J.U.H., Johnson, T.R., McGowan, C.P., and Rachlow, J.L. View Publication.
    6. Comparison between the kinematics for kangaroo rat hopping on a solid versus sand surface. R Soc Open Sci. 2022 Feb; 9(2):211491. Hall JK, McGowan CP, Lin DC. PMID: 35154793; PMCID: PMC8826122.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1  
    7. Clinician Reliability of One-Handed Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Forces During a Simulated Treatment. J Sport Rehabil. 2022 05 01; 31(4):505-510. Duffy S, Martonick N, Reeves A, Cheatham SW, McGowan C, Baker RT. PMID: 35108674.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    8. Elastic energy storage across speeds during steady-state hopping of desert kangaroo rats (Dipodomys deserti). J Exp Biol. 2022 01 15; 225(2). Christensen BA, Lin DC, Schwaner MJ, McGowan CP. PMID: 35019972.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
    9. Clinician Reliability of One-Handed Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Forces During a Simulated Treatment. Journal of Sports Rehabilitation. 2022; (31):505-510 . Duffy, S., Martonick, N., Reeves, A., Cheatham, S., McGowan, C., and Baker, R. View Publication.
    10. Plantar flexor muscles of kangaroo rats (Dipodomys deserti) shorten at a velocity to produce optimal power during jumping. J Exp Biol. 2021 12 15; 224(24). Schwaner MJ, Lin DC, McGowan CP. PMID: 34870703.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    11. Descriptive Analysis of Forces Applied by Trained Clinicians During Two-Handed Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. Journal of Athletic Training. 2021. Stevenson, T., Whitlock, J., Martonick, N., Reeves, A., Cheatham, S., McGowan, C., and Baker, R. View Publication.
    12. Descriptive Analysis of Forces Applied by Trained Clinicians During Two-Handed Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization. J Athl Train. 2021 Nov 18. Stevenson TC, Whitlock JA, Martonick N, Cheatham SW, Reeves A, McGowan C, Baker RT. PMID: 34793592; PMCID: PMC9913060.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    
    13. Comparative analysis of Dipodomys species indicates that kangaroo rat hindlimb anatomy is adapted for rapid evasive leaping. J Anat. 2022 03; 240(3):466-474. Freymiller GA, Whitford MD, Schwaner MJ, McGowan CP, Higham TE, Clark RW. PMID: 34648184; PMCID: PMC8819043.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    14. How to Stick the Landing: Kangaroo Rats Use Their Tails to Reorient during Evasive Jumps Away from Predators. Integr Comp Biol. 2021 09 08; 61(2):442-454. Schwaner MJ, Freymiller GA, Clark RW, McGowan CP. PMID: 33940620.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    15. An Evolutionary Tail: EvoDevo, Structure, and Function of Post-anal Appendages. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2021; 2(61):352-357. Schwaner, M.J., Swalla, B.J., Hsieh, S.T., and McGowan, C.P. View Publication.
    16. Instrument-Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Forces Applied by Trained Clinicians During a Simulated Treatment. J Sport Rehabil. 2022 01 01; 31(1):120-124. Martonick NJP, Reeves AJ, Whitlock JA, Stevenson TC, Cheatham SW, McGowan CP, Baker RT. PMID: 34034231.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 3     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    17. Future Tail Tales: A Forward-Looking, Integrative Perspective on Tail Research. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 2021; 2(61):521-537. Schwaner, M.J., Hsieh, S.T., Braasch, I., Bradley, S., Campos, C.B., Collins, C.E., Donatelli, C.M., Fish, F.E.., Fitch, O.E., Flammang, B.E., Jackson, B.E., Jusufi, A., Mekdara., P.J., Patel., A., Swalla, B.J., Vickaryous, M.4, McGowan, C.P. View Publication.
    18. Estimation of the force-velocity properties of individual muscles from measurement of the combined plantarflexor properties. J Exp Biol. 2020 09 18; 223(Pt 18). Javidi M, McGowan CP, Lin DC. PMID: 32680898.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    19. Functional morphology of the ankle extensor muscle-tendon units in the springhare Pedetes capensis shows convergent evolution with macropods for bipedal hopping locomotion. J Anat. 2020 09; 237(3):568-578. Veiga GN, Biewener AA, Fuller A, van de Ven TMFN, McGowan CP, Panaino W, Snelling EP. PMID: 32584456; PMCID: PMC7476211.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    20. Lighten up! Postural instructions affect static and dynamic balance in healthy older adults. Innovation in Aging. 2020; 2(4). Cohen, R.J., Ravichandra, R., Kral, D., Baer, J.L., McGowan, C.P., Cacciatore, T. View Publication.
    21. Associations of early-life growth with health using an allostatic load score in young, urban African adults: Birth to Twenty Plus Cohort. J Dev Orig Health Dis. 2020 08; 11(4):360-368. McGowan CJ, Norris SA. PMID: 31658922.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
    22. Yank: the time derivative of force is an important biomechanical variable in sensorimotor systems. J Exp Biol. 2019 09 12; 222(Pt 18). Lin DC, McGowan CP, Blum KP, Ting LH. PMID: 31515280; PMCID: PMC6765171.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 15     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    23. Tendons from kangaroo rats are exceptionally strong and tough. Sci Rep. 2019 06 03; 9(1):8196. Javidi M, McGowan CP, Schiele NR, Lin DC. PMID: 31160640; PMCID: PMC6546749.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    24. The Contributions of Individual Muscle-Tendon Units to the Plantarflexor Group Force-Length Properties. Ann Biomed Eng. 2019 Nov; 47(11):2168-2177. Javidi M, McGowan CP, Lin DC. PMID: 31111328.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 1     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    25. Exploring Bipedal Hopping through Computational Evolution. Artif Life. 2019; 25(3):236-249. Moore JM, Shine CL, McGowan CP, McKinley PK. PMID: 31397600.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    26. Jumping mechanics of desert kangaroo rats. J Exp Biol. 2018 11 12; 221(Pt 22). Schwaner MJ, Lin DC, McGowan CP. PMID: 30420493.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    27. Functional capacity of kangaroo rat hindlimbs: adaptations for locomotor performance. J R Soc Interface. 2018 07; 15(144). Rankin JW, Doney KM, McGowan CP. PMID: 29997260; PMCID: PMC6073650.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 6     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    28. Why do mammals hop? Understanding the ecology, biomechanics and evolution of bipedal hopping. J Exp Biol. 2018 06 15; 221(Pt 12). McGowan CP, Collins CE. PMID: 29907573.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    29. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) locomotion: forelimb joint mechanics across speed in the sagittal and frontal planes. J Exp Biol. 2017 04 01; 220(Pt 7):1322-1329. Shine CL, Robbins CT, Nelson OL, McGowan CP. PMID: 28153978.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 2     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    30. Muscle contributions to frontal plane angular momentum during walking. J Biomech. 2016 09 06; 49(13):2975-2981. Neptune RR, McGowan CP. PMID: 27522538; PMCID: PMC5056157.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 26     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    31. Impact Accelerations of Barefoot and Shod Running. Int J Sports Med. 2016 May; 37(5):364-8. Thompson M, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. PMID: 26837933.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    32. Grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) locomotion: gaits and ground reaction forces. J Exp Biol. 2015 Oct; 218(Pt 19):3102-9. Shine CL, Penberthy S, Robbins CT, Nelson OL, McGowan CP. PMID: 26254319.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 7     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    33. Evaluating the Effect of a Flexible Spine on the Evolution of Quadrupedal Gaits. Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life. 2015; 166-173. Moore, J.M., McGowan, C. P and McKinley, P.K, . View Publication.
    34. Kinematic and kinetic comparison of barefoot and shod running in mid/forefoot and rearfoot strike runners. Gait Posture. 2015 May; 41(4):957-9. Thompson MA, Lee SS, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. PMID: 25827681.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    35. Scaling of the spring in the leg during bouncing gaits of mammals. Integr Comp Biol. 2014 Dec; 54(6):1099-108. Lee DV, Isaacs MR, Higgins TE, Biewener AA, McGowan CP. PMID: 25305189; PMCID: PMC4296203.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    36. The effect of stride length on the dynamics of barefoot and shod running. J Biomech. 2014 Aug 22; 47(11):2745-50. Thompson MA, Gutmann A, Seegmiller J, McGowan CP. PMID: 24935172.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    37. Muscle activation patterns and patellofemoral pain in cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Apr; 46(4):753-61. Dieter BP, McGowan CP, Stoll SK, Vella CA. PMID: 24145723.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    38. Exploring the Role of the Tail in Bipedal Hopping through Computational Evolution. Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL). 2013; 11-18. Moore, J.M., Gutmann, A.K., McGowan, C. P., and McKinley, P.K. View Publication.
    39. Collision-based mechanics of bipedal hopping. Biol Lett. 2013 Aug 23; 9(4):20130418. Gutmann AK, Lee DV, McGowan CP. PMID: 23843217; PMCID: PMC3730653.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 5     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    40. A phenomenological muscle model to assess history dependent effects in human movement. J Biomech. 2013 Jan 04; 46(1):151-7. McGowan CP, Neptune RR, Herzog W. PMID: 23178037; PMCID: PMC3529826.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    41. Leg stiffness of sprinters using running-specific prostheses. J R Soc Interface. 2012 Aug 07; 9(73):1975-82. McGowan CP, Grabowski AM, McDermott WJ, Herr HM, Kram R. PMID: 22337629; PMCID: PMC3385759.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:HumansCTClinical Trials
    42. Muscle contributions to whole-body sagittal plane angular momentum during walking. J Biomech. 2011 Jan 04; 44(1):6-12. Neptune RR, McGowan CP. PMID: 20833396; PMCID: PMC3003775.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 48     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    43. Counterpoint: Artificial legs do not make artificially fast running speeds possible. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Apr; 108(4):1012-4; discussion 1014; author reply 1020. Kram R, Grabowski AM, McGowan CP, Brown MB, Herr HM. PMID: 20368386.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 4     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    44. Running-specific prostheses limit ground-force during sprinting. Biol Lett. 2010 Apr 23; 6(2):201-4. Grabowski AM, McGowan CP, McDermott WJ, Beale MT, Kram R, Herr HM. PMID: 19889694; PMCID: PMC2865064.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 25     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    45. A phenomenological model and validation of shortening-induced force depression during muscle contractions. J Biomech. 2010 Feb 10; 43(3):449-54. McGowan CP, Neptune RR, Herzog W. PMID: 19879585; PMCID: PMC2813402.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    46. Modular control of human walking: Adaptations to altered mechanical demands. J Biomech. 2010 Feb 10; 43(3):412-9. McGowan CP, Neptune RR, Clark DJ, Kautz SA. PMID: 19879583; PMCID: PMC2813323.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 71     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    47. Forward dynamics simulations provide insight into muscle mechanical work during human locomotion. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009 Oct; 37(4):203-10. Neptune RR, McGowan CP, Kautz SA. PMID: 19955870; PMCID: PMC2789343.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    48. Obesity does not increase external mechanical work per kilogram body mass during walking. J Biomech. 2009 Oct 16; 42(14):2273-8. Browning RC, McGowan CP, Kram R. PMID: 19646701; PMCID: PMC2757480.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 18     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    49. The fastest runner on artificial legs: different limbs, similar function? J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Sep; 107(3):903-11. Weyand PG, Bundle MW, McGowan CP, Grabowski A, Brown MB, Kram R, Herr H. PMID: 19541739.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 28     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    50. Modulation of leg muscle function in response to altered demand for body support and forward propulsion during walking. J Biomech. 2009 May 11; 42(7):850-6. McGowan CP, Kram R, Neptune RR. PMID: 19249784; PMCID: PMC2742974.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 32     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    51. The influence of muscle physiology and advanced technology on sports performance. Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2009; 11:81-107. Neptune RR, McGowan CP, Fiandt JM. PMID: 19400707.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 12     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    52. Independent effects of weight and mass on plantar flexor activity during walking: implications for their contributions to body support and forward propulsion. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2008 Aug; 105(2):486-94. McGowan CP, Neptune RR, Kram R. PMID: 18556431; PMCID: PMC2519947.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 62     Fields:    Translation:Humans
    53. Hind limb scaling of kangaroos and wallabies (superfamily Macropodoidea): implications for hopping performance, safety factor and elastic savings. J Anat. 2008 Feb; 212(2):153-63. McGowan CP, Skinner J, Biewener AA. PMID: 18086129; PMCID: PMC2408984.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 23     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    54. Modulation of proximal muscle function during level versus incline hopping in tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii). J Exp Biol. 2007 Apr; 210(Pt 7):1255-65. McGowan CP, Baudinette RV, Biewener AA. PMID: 17371924.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 10     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    55. Effects of load carrying on metabolic cost and hindlimb muscle dynamics in guinea fowl (Numida meleagris). J Appl Physiol (1985). 2006 Oct; 101(4):1060-9. McGowan CP, Duarte HA, Main JB, Biewener AA. PMID: 16809624; PMCID: PMC2413411.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    56. Differential design for hopping in two species of wallabies. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2008 Jun; 150(2):151-8. McGowan CP, Baudinette RV, Biewener AA. PMID: 16861021.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 8     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    57. The mechanics of jumping versus steady hopping in yellow-footed rock wallabies. J Exp Biol. 2005 Jul; 208(Pt 14):2741-51. McGowan CP, Baudinette RV, Usherwood JR, Biewener AA. PMID: 16000543.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 14     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    58. Joint work and power associated with acceleration and deceleration in tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii). J Exp Biol. 2005 Jan; 208(Pt 1):41-53. McGowan CP, Baudinette RV, Biewener AA. PMID: 15601876.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 19     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    59. Dynamic pressure maps for wings and tails of pigeons in slow, flapping flight, and their energetic implications. J Exp Biol. 2005 Jan; 208(Pt 2):355-69. Usherwood JR, Hedrick TL, McGowan CP, Biewener AA. PMID: 15634854.
      View in: PubMed   Mentions: 13     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    60. Dynamics of leg muscle function in tammar wallabies (M. eugenii) during level versus incline hopping. Journal of Experimental Biology. 2004; (207):211-223. Biewener, A.A., McGowan, C.P., Card, G.M., and Baudinette, R.V. View Publication.
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