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Michele Crites-Battie, PhD


Rehabilitation Medicine

Physical Therapy

About Me


  • DrMedSc (PhD) degree - University of Gothenburg, Sweden - 1989
  • MSc - Rehabilitation Medicine - University of Washington, United States - 1984
  • BSc - Physical Therapy – University of Washington, United States - 1981


  • Former Research Associate Professor in the Department of Orthopaedics at the University of Washington
  • Has been recognized with a number of international research awards:

            - Four Volvo Awards from the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine

            - Two Kappa Delta Awards from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

            - 2009 Outstanding Paper Award from the North American Spine Society  


Professional Interests

  • Etiology, diagnosis and prognosis (including effects of interventions) of common spinal disorders, such as low back pain, sciatica, lumbar spinal stenosis, and intervertebral disc degeneration.
  • Factors influencing back pain reporting and disability.

Current Research

The Twin Spine Study, a multidisciplinary, multi-national research program on the etiology and pathogenesis of thoracic and lumbar degenerative findings and back symptoms.

Dr. Battié and her team are also investigating genes associated with the presence and progression of various phenotypes of lumbar spine degeneration in collaboration with the Academy of Finland’s Centre for Complex Disease Genetics.

The Alberta Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Study to examine prognostic factors and outcomes over a five-year follow-up period in over 500 patients with lumbar spinal stenosis.

Dr. Battié and her team have also investigated ‘best’ measures of walking capacity for research and clinical practice in this population.

Genodisc, a European consortium project with the aim of ultimately improving treatment of pathologies linked to degeneration of the intervertebral disc by developing clearer objective diagnostic criteria. This project includes 9 other partner laboratories and is in the 2nd of five years of funding. (PI: Jill Urban, Oxford)

Investigations of the lumbar vertebra and its bony endplate and in relation to disc degeneration and back pain.

Investigation of paraspinal muscle morphology and MRI signal in relation to, and as markers of, spinal pathology.


Michele Crites Battie, PhD, is a graduate supervisor at the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine.