Robert Motl joins the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences

Robert Motl, an internationally known researcher on the effects of exercise and physical activity for people with multiple sclerosis, will join AHS Nov. 1 as a professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition.

“His research success, his enthusiasm for interdisciplinary collaboration and his love for teaching make Dr. Motl a perfect fit for our college,” said dean Bo Fernhall.

Motl’s work focuses on the physiological, psychosocial and behavioral factors of the health and well-being of people living with MS.

A top scholar in the field of physical activity and exercise, he is the author of over 650 peer-reviewed articles.

He has received funding for more than 75 studies throughout his career, including grants from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation, and the National Institutes of Health.

Motl has collaborated on many studies with other researchers at various institutions, in disciplines that include kinesiology, psychology, sociology, neurology and engineering.

He joins AHS from the University of Alabama Birmingham, where he was professor and director of research in physical therapy. Before that, he was professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a faculty member for 13 years.

He holds a B.S. in psychology from San Diego State University, a master’s in exercise science from University of Wyoming and a Ph.D. in exercise science from University of Georgia.

“Motl brings many strengths to the education and research programs at AHS, other colleges on campus, UI Health and beyond,” Fernhall said.

“His expertise will bring innovative approaches to health care, using an integrated health approach that combines traditional medical therapy with lifestyle and psychosocial interventions.”

Motl’s appointment was made possible by the University of Illinois System Distinguished Faculty Recruitment Program. He is the first faculty member to join AHS through the program.