Max J. Kurz, PhD

Max KurzMax J. Kurz, PhD
Physical Therapy Department
Munroe-Meyer Institute
985450 Nebraska Medical Center
Omaha, NE 68198-5450

Phone: (402) 559-9599

Professional Summary:

Dr. Kurz is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. Dr. Kurz’s clinical role involves performing the movement analysis of children that are referred to the Institute for surgical and therapeutic decisions. Dr. Kurz has primary-authored numerous publications that have focused on the motor performance and rehabilitative outcomes of children with cerebral palsy. Many of these publications are innovative because they use a blend of biomechanics and brain imaging techniques (MEG, fNIRS) to quantify how the sensorimotor cortices reach a decision threshold, integrate sensory feedback and produce a motor action. Dr. Kurz’s current research efforts are funded by the National Institutes of Health (1R21HD077532-01) and the Edna Ittner Research Foundation. The Specific Aims for both of these projects are using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and biomechanics to quantify how children with cerebral palsy control their movements and learn new motor skills. Graduate students interested in working under the direction of Dr. Kurz at UNMC can earn a degree in Medical Sciences from UNMC or Neuroscience and Behavior from the Psychology Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.


PhD, Neuroscience and Behavior, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, 2006
MS, Exercise Science, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE, 1997
BS, Biology, Doane College, Crete, NE, 1994

Courses Taught:

PHYT 505 Musculoskeletal Physical Therapy I

Research Interests and Projects:

  • How the sensorimotor cortices reach a decision threshold, integrate sensory feedback and produce a motor action
  • Role of genetic factors for neuroplasticity and memory consolidation
  • Motor control and learning of children and adults with cerebral palsy

Selected Publications: (within the last 5 years)

  • Kurz MJ, Wilson TW, Arpin DJ (2014). An fNIRS exploratory investigation of the cortical activity during gait in children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Brain & Development, in press.
  • Kurz MJ, Heindrichs-Graham E, Arpin DJ, Becker KM, Wilson TW (2014). Aberrant synchrony in the somatosensory cortices predicts motor performance errors in children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Neurophysiology, in press.
  • Wilson TW, Kurz MJ, Arpin DJ (2014). Functional specialization within the supplementary motor area: a fNIRS study of bimanual coordination. NeuroImage 85(1):445-450.
  • Arpin DJ, Stuberg W, Stergiou N, Kurz MJ (2013). Motor control of the lower extremity musculature in children with cerebral palsy. Research in Developmental Disabilities 34(4):1134-43.
  • Davies BL, Kurz MJ (2013). Children with cerebral palsy have greater stochastic features present in the variability of their gait kinematics. Research in Developmental Disabilities 34(11):3648-3653.
  • Kurz MJ, Arpin DJ, Davies BL, Harbourne R (2013). The stochastic component of the postural sway variability is higher in children with balance impairments. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 41(8):1703-12.
  • Kurz MJ, Stuberg W, DeJong S, Arpin DJ (2013). Overground body-weight-supported gait training for children and youth with neuromuscular impairments. Physical & Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics, 33(3):353-65.
  • Kurz MJ, Wilson TW, Arpin DJ (2012). Stride-time variability and sensorimotor cortical activation during walking. NeuroImage 59:1602-1607.
  • Kurz MJ, Wilson TW, Corr B, Volkman KG (2012). Neuromagnetic activity of the somatosensory cortices associated with body weight-supported treadmill training in children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 36(4):166-72.  Manuscript was a finalist for the Golden Synapse Award of the Neurology Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. The award recognizes the top scientific study of the year published in JNPT.
  • Kurz MJ, Corr B, Arpin DJ (2012). Differences in the dynamic gait stability of children with cerebral palsy and typically developing children. Gait and Posture 36(3):600-4.
  • Kurz MJ, Deffeyes JE, Arpin DJ, Karst GM, Stuberg WA (2012). Influence of lower body positive pressure support on the walking patterns of healthy children and adults. Journal of Applied Biomechanics 28(5):530-541.
  • Deffeyes JE, Karst GM, Stuberg WA, Kurz MJ (2012). Coactivation of lower leg muscles during body weight-supported treadmill walking decreases with age in adolescents. Perceptual Motor Skills 115(1):241-60.
  • Kurz MJ, Corr B, Stuberg W, Volkman K, Smith N (2011). Influence of lower body positive pressure supported treadmill training on the gait of children with cerebral palsy. Pediatric Physical Therapy 23(3):232-239.
  • Kurz MJ, Wilson TW (2011). Neuromagnetic activity in the somatosensory cortices of children with cerebral palsy. Neuroscience Letters 490:1-5.
  • Kurz MJ, Stuberg W, DeJong SL (2011). Body weight supported treadmill training improves the regularity of the stepping kinematics in children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Neurorehabilitation 4(2):87-93.
  • Kurz MJ, Stuberg WA, De Jong SA (2010). Mechanical work performed by the legs of children with spasticdiplegic cerebral palsy. Gait & Posture 31(3):347-50.

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
  • American Physiological Association
  • American Society of Biomechanics
  • Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society
  • Society of Neuroscience