Greg Kawchuk, BSc, DC, MSc, PhD

Professor & CRC Chair, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Physical Therapy


Professor & CRC Chair, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine - Physical Therapy
(780) 492-6891
3-44B Corbett (E.A.) Hall
8205 - 114 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2G4




  • PhD - Bioengineering - University of Calgary - 2000
  • MSc - Biomechanics - University of Calgary – 1995
  • DC – Doctor of Chiropractic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College - 1990
  • BSc - Cellular Biology - University of Calgary - 1986


  • Academic training began in molecular, microbial and cellular biology (BSc, University of Calgary) and then progressed to biomechanics and bioengineering (MSc, PhD, University of Calgary).
  • Clinical trained as a chiropractor (Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College).
  • After postdoctoral work at the State University of New York and the University of Calgary, Dr. Kawchuk joined the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary as an Assistant Professor with an additional clinical appointment in Student Health Services.
  • Recruited by the University of Alberta in 2004 to join the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine as an Assistant Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Spinal Function. 
  • Currently hold adjunct positions at the University of Alberta (Department of Biomedical Engineering) and the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.


Professional Interests

Dr. Kawchuk’s research interests focus on defining the mechanisms that initiate and sustain spinal disorders so that clinically relevant strategies can be developed toward their prevention or resolution. A major component of his research involves developing new technologies to assess spinal structure and function, then using those technologies to evaluate various clinical interventions. 

Current Research

Methods development

A suite of methodologies are being developed to assess spinal structure and function in both in vitro and in vivo settings. These methods utilize advancements in robotics, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging and kinematics.   

Interrogation of spinal tissues

Using the methods developed in-house, Dr. Kawchuk is evaluating the mechanical and genetic responses of spinal tissues to various conditions (real or simulated) including therapeutic interventions.    

Human studies

The performance of several methodologies developed in Dr. Kawchuk’s team’s lab is now being evaluated in several human trials. He expects that some of these methods will be used to better diagnose spinal conditions or to evaluate various therapies.


Gregory Kawchuk, PhD, is a doctoral supervisor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. 


PTHER 500 - Movement Analysis

Introduction to mechanical and analytical concepts pertinent to physical therapy. Content will include the systematic analysis of posture, balance, typical and atypical gait, functional movements and the influence of person, task, and environment on task performance. Prerequisite: PTHER 516.

PTHER 577 - Foundations of Primary Care

Introduction to Primary Care and the role of the physical therapist in this practice setting. This course will provide foundational knowledge of the pathophysiology and presentation of common medical conditions, history-taking and medical screening, pharmacology and commonly used medications, diagnostic imaging, laboratory tests and clinical reasoning models. Prerequisite: PTHER 516.

REHAB 603 - Seminars in Rehabilitation Science

This seminar is designed to allow students in the doctoral program to learn more about the scope of research in rehabilitation science. Students attend seminars presented by staff and/or graduate students in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine and other health science faculties. Rehabilitation Science PhD students must enroll in this course twice, once in each of the first two semesters of their program, for a total of 2 credit units in Rehab 603.

REHAB 606 - Essentials for Graduate Studies

This course provides the student with foundational research knowledge and skills to accelerate their ability to be productive and successful in research endeavors.

Browse more courses taught by Greg Kawchuk

Scholarly Activities

Research - Professor

Dr.Kawchuk’s ultimate goal is to develop new strategies and technologies for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of spinal disorders and back pain – the most common of all musculoskeletal health problems. His work has contributed to making the U of A’s Faculty of Rehabilitation a research leader in musculoskeletal health.


Do Participants With Low Back Pain Who Respond to Spinal Manipulative Therapy Differ Biomechanically From Nonresponders, Untreated Controls or Asymptomatic Controls?

Author(s): Wong AY, Parent EC, Dhillon SS, Prasad N, Kawchuk GN.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Spine
Volume: 40
Issue: 17

Real-time visualization of joint cavitation.

Author(s): Kawchuk GN, Fryer J, Jaremko JL, Zeng H, Rowe L, Thompson R.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: PLOS ONE
Volume: 10
Issue: 4

A non-randomized clinical trial to assess the impact of nonrigid, inelastic corsets on spine function in low back pain participants and asymptomatic controls.

Author(s): Kawchuk GN, Edgecombe TL, Wong AY, Cojocaru A, Prasad N.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Spine
Volume: 15
Issue: 10

The biological basis of degenerative disc disease: proteomic and biomechanical analysis of the canine intervertebral disc.

Author(s): Erwin WM, DeSouza L, Funabashi M, Kawchuk G, Karim MZ, Kim S, Mӓdler S, Matta A, Wang X, Mehrkens KA.
Publication Date: 2015
Publication: Arthritis Research & Therapy
Volume: 5
Issue: 17