The Director of OMM Research, Professor Michael L. Kuchera, DO, was recruited to PCOM in 2002 after over two decades of teaching, research, and clinical service. Dr. Kuchera graduated from the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (KCOM) where he later served as chairperson of OMM, OMM Residency Director, Vice President for International Osteopathic Research & Education, and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean.
Currently Dr. Kuchera directs the OMM Research and Human Performance & Biomechanics Laboratory, mentoring PCOM and masters students. He is also the Director of the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging. He has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) studying the effects of progressive maximal effort exercise for multiple sclerosis subjects and by the Philadelphia Health Care Foundation to investigate biomechanical approaches, including OMT, in improving function and the quality of life in people with Parkinson's Disease. Dr. Kuchera is also comparing conservative care with and without OMT to tissue healing rates in ankle sprains exposed to low-intensity laser. He served as lead principal investigator in a five-state collaborative project with Veteran's Administration Medical Centers. In 2002, the AOA Council of Research honored Dr. Kuchera with their highest honor for a career of research and research mentorship, the Gutenshohn-Denslow Award.
Dr. Kuchera earned an international reputation. He also co-authored a nationally recognized museum exhibit, The Healer Within
, which has toured the country and the Smithsonian Institute. A past president of the American Academy of Osteopathy
(AAO), Dr. Kuchera represents the United States in the International Federation of Manual/Musculoskeletal Medicine (www.FIMM-online.org
), where he is serves as Secretary General. He has been invited to lecture numerous times in Europe, Japan, and Australia and is a founding member of the AOA's Bureau on International Osteopathic Medical Education & Affairs (BIOMEA). In addition to co-editing and writing numerous articles and chapters in the Foundations for Osteopathic Medicine text, Dr. Kuchera coauthored Osteopathic Considerations in Systemic Dysfunction with his father as well as two other textbooks.
A long-time student advocate, Dr. Kuchera was unanimously granted life membership to National SOMA
, served as the National UAAO faculty sponsor, and is faculty sponsor for both SOMA on the PCOM campus as well as the SeekHealth
organization at PCOM.