Joshua Leonardis's directory photo.

Joshua Leonardis

Assistant Professor

Primary Affiliation

Computational Imaging


Status Affiliate Faculty

Home Department of Kinesiology and Community Health




  • Honors
    • 2022: Vogel Award for Outstanding Pediatric Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Research, American Spinal Injury Association

    • 2020: Predoctoral Scientist of the Year, American Society of Biomechanics

    • 2019: Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship, University of Michigan

    • 2018: Translational Research Award, International Shoulder Group

    • 2018: Zatkoff Family Fellowship, University of Michigan

    • 2017: Golden Apple Teaching Award, University of Michigan

  • Research

    Research interests

    ·      Upper extremity musculoskeletal biomechanics and neuromuscular control

    ·      Musculoskeletal imaging

    ·      Musculoskeletal structure-function

    Research areas

    ·      Sex as a biological factor in biomechanics and neuromuscular control

    ·      Pain and pathology prevention and treatment in manual wheelchair users

    ·      Development of workplace ergonomic standards for manual wheelchair users

    ·      Early detection and prevention of shoulder pathology after surgery for breast cancer

    Leonardis' research examines the intricate relationship between upper extremity musculoskeletal structure and function using innovative biomechanical, neuromuscular, and musculoskeletal imaging techniques. His current research focuses on quantifying the sex-specific neuromuscular and musculoskeletal adaptations to wheelchair use across the lifespan and the development and implementation of workplace ergonomic standards for manual wheelchair users. Additionally, he is interested in developing paradigms for the early detection and prevention of musculoskeletal pathologies secondary to surgery for breast cancer.

    At the Beckman Institute, Leonardis will collaborate with colleagues Ian Rice and Mariana Kersh to develop novel, patient-specific interventions for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of upper extremity pain and pathology in manual wheelchair users.

  • 2023

    • T. Lulic-Kuryllo, J. Leonardis, A. Momoh, D. Lipps, “Assessing Stretch Reflexes Following Breast Cancer Treatment and Post-Mastectomy Breast Reconstruction", Journal of Neurophysiology, 2023,


    • J. Leonardis, A. Schnorenberg, L. Vogel, G. Harris, B. Slavens, “The Influence of Age at Pediatric-Onset Spinal Cord Injury and Years of Wheelchair Use on Shoulder Complex Joint Dynamics During Manual Wheelchair Propulsion", Archives of Rehabilitation Research and Clinical Translation, 2022, doi:10.1016/j.arrct.2022.100235
    • J. Leonardis, T. Lulic-Kuryllo, D. Lipps, “The Impact of Local Therapies for Breast Cancer on Shoulder Muscle Health and Function", Reviews in Oncology and Hematology, 2022,


    • C. Setlock, T. Lulic-Kuryllo, J. Leonardis, M. Kulik, D. Lipps, “Age and Sex Influence the Activation-Dependent Stiffness of the Pectoralis Major", Journal of Anatomy, 2021,
    • J. Leonardis, D. Lyons, K. Kidwell, A. Giladi, D. Lipps, A. Momoh, “The Influence of Functional Shoulder Biomechanics as a Mediator of Patient Reported Outcomes Following Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction”, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery}, 2021,
    • J. Leonardis, W. Wolff, A. Momoh, D. Lipps, “Neuromuscular Compensation Strategies Adopted at the Shoulder Following Bilateral Subpectoral Implant Breast Reconstruction”, Journal of Biomechanics, 2021,
    • M. Hanks, J. Leonardis, A. Schnorenberg, J. Krzak, A. Graf, L. Vogel, G. Harris, B. Slavens, “The Influence of Sex on Upper Extremity Joint Dynamics in Pediatric Manual Wheelchair Users with Spinal Cord Injury", Topics in Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation, 2021,


    • D. Lipps, \textbf{J. Leonardis}, R. Dess, G. McGinnis, R. Marsh, J. Strauss, J. Hayman, L. Pierce, R. Jagsi, “Mechanical Properties of the Shoulder and Pectoralis Major in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Breast-Conserving Surgery with Axillary Surgery and Radiotherapy”, \textit{Scientific Reports}, 2019,
    • J. Leonardis, A. Alkayyali, D. Lipps, “Posture-Dependent Neuromuscular Contributions to Three-Dimensional Isometric Shoulder Torque Generation", Journal of Neurophysiology, 2020,
    • W. Wolff, J. Leonardis, D. Lipps, “Spatial Tuning of Neural and Mechanical Properties of the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle During 3-D Torque Production”, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 2020,


    • J. Leonardis, B. Diefenbach, D. Lyons, T. Olinger, A. Giladi, A. Momoh, D. Lipps, “The Influence of Reconstruction Choice and Inclusion of Radiation Therapy on Functional Shoulder Biomechanics in Women Undergoing Mastectomy for Breast Cancer”, Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, 2019,
    • J. Leonardis, D. Lyons, A. Giladi, A. Momoh, D. Lipps, “The Functional Integrity of the Shoulder Joint and Pectoralis Major Following Subpectoral Implant Breast Reconstruction”, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 2019,


    • B. Luciani, D. Desmet, A. Alkayyali, J. Leonardis, D. Lipps, “Identifying the Mechanical and Neural Properties of the Sternocleidomastoid Muscles”, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2018, doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00892.2017
    • J. Leonardis, D. Desmet, D. Lipps, “Quantifying Differences in the Material Properties of the Fiber Regions of the Pectoralis Major Using Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography”, Journal of Biomechanics, 2017,