Jacqueline Montes, PT, EdD, NCS

  • Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUMC
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Jacqueline Montes, PT, EdD is a Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine and research faculty in the Programs in Physical Therapy at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. She is a licensed physical therapist and certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a neurological clinical specialist. Dr. Montes obtained her Bachelors degree and physical therapy certification at Hunter College in New York. She also received an MA in Motor Learning and Motor Control and Doctorate of Education in the Movement Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University, where her research topics focused on gait, fatigue and clinical outcome measures in neuromuscular disease. Her work encompasses several areas including the clinical evaluation of adults and children with diverse neuromuscular diseases including ALS and SMA. Dr. Montes' research has focused on understanding the natural history of these diseases as well as defining weakness and fatigue as a symptom complex that defines the underlying disease mechanism. She has been integral in developing the standards of care for physical therapy in SMA and training physical therapists around the world in assessments for clinical trials. 

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Rehabilitation and Regenerative Medicine (Physical Therapy) at CUMC

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BS, Physical Therapy, Hunter College, City University of New York
  • EdD, Motor Learning and Motor Control, Columbia University, Teachers College

Honors & Awards

Neurologic Certified Specialist, American Board of Physical Therapy Specialists
Hunter College, Dean's List, Summa cum Laude, 1994
Leopold Schepp Scholarship 1991-1993


Research Interests:

Pediatric and adult neuromuscular disease, Spinal muscular atrophy, Clinical outcome measures, Gait, Exercise and physical activity, Fatigue

Research Interests

  • exercise
  • fatigue
  • neuromuscular disease
  • spinal muscular atrophy


Active Research Funding

8/1/2019-7/31/2022 - Muscular Dystrophy Association, Research Grant

629259, Wearable Technology to Assess Gait Function in Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Role: Co-Principal Investigator

1/1/2020-12/31/2022 - Cure SMA, Pediatric Neuromuscular Research Network, Research Grant

Taking Clinical Evaluations of SMA to the Next Level to Meet Real Life Challenges (Project 3). Role: Principal Investigator

6/1/2022-5/31/2023 - Cure SMA. Research Grant

Development of an International Competency-based Educational Program for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Physical Therapists (STEP-IN). Role: Co-Principal Investigator

Past Support

8/1/2016-4/30/2022 - National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD)

1K01HD84690-01A1, Evaluation of Oxidative Capacity and Exercise Tolerance in Ambulatory Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Role: Principal Investigator

5/1/2018-4/30/2022 - Muscular Dystrophy Association, Clinical Trail Travel Grant

575870, Evaluation of Oxidative Capacity and Exercise Tolerance in Ambulatory Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Role: Principal investigator

2/1/2021-1/31/2022 - Genentech Independent Medical Education Grant

Educational Program for Spinal Muscular Atrophy Physical Therapists (STEP-IN). Role: Co-Principal Investigator

3/1/2021-2/28/2022 - Cure SMA. Research Grant

Development of a Competency-based Educational Program for Spinal Muscular Physical Therapists (STEP-IN). Role: Co-Principal Investigator.

4/2004-11/2007 - The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

1 R01 NS 48125-01, Clinical Trial of High Dose CoQ10 in ALS - QALS- Clin. Role: Lead Evaluator

5/2010-5/2014 - USAMRAA Department of Defense, W81XWH-10-1-0127 Columbia SMA Project: A Randomized, Control Trial of the Effects Exercise on Motor Function and Strength in Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Role: Co-Investigator

9/2011-8/2015 - USAMRAA Department of Defense, W81XWH-11-1 Columbia SMA Project: 4-AP as a Potential SMA Therapeutic Agent and Biological Mechanisms of Action. Role: Co-Investigator

11/2007-6/2016 - SMA Foundation Pediatric Neuromuscular Clinical Research Network

Role: Physical Therapist and Evaluator 

12/2015-11/2016 - Irving Center for Clinical and Translational Research, CTO Pilot Award

Factors underlying higher energy expenditure and weight loss in Huntington's disease. Role: Co-Investigator

10/2017 - Muscular Dystrophy Association, Conference Grant

Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Evaluation and Management for the Rehabilitation Specialist. Role: Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

Select Publications

1. T.T.H. Duong, D. Uher, J. Montes and D. Zanotto, "Ecological Validation of Machine Learning Models for Spatiotemporal Gait Analysis in Free-Living Environments Using Instrumented Insoles," in IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 2022, doi: 10.1109/LRA.2022.3188895.

2. Montes, J, Goodwin AM, McDermott MP, Uher D, Hernandez FM, Coutts K, Cocchi J, Hauschildt M, Cornett KM, Rao AK, Monani UR, Gerber CE, De Vivo DC. Diminished Muscle Oxygen Uptake and Fatigue in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. March 2021; PMID: 33788241

3. Rodriguez-Torres, R., Fabiano, J., Goodwin, A., Rao, A.K., Kinirons, S., De Vivo, D.C., & Montes, J. Neuroanatomical models of muscle strength and relationship to ambulatory function in spinal muscular atrophy. Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases. 2020;7(4):459-466. doi: 10.3233/JND-200550. PMID: 32925091

4.Montes J, McDermott MP, Mirek E, Mazzone ES, Main M, Glanzman AM, Duong T, Young SD, Salazar R, Pasternak A, Gee R, De Sanctis R, Coratti,G Forcina N, Fanelli L, Ramsey D, Milev E, Civitello M, Pane M, Pera MC, Scoto M, Day JW, Tennekoon G, Finkel R, Darras BT, Muntoni F, De Vivo DC, Mercuri E. Ambulatory Function in Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Age-related Patterns of Progression. PLOS ONE, 2018; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199657.

5. Glanzman AM, Mazzone ES, Young SD, Gee R, Rose K, Mayhew A, Nelson L, Yun C, Alexander K, Darras BT, Zolkipli-Cunningham Z, Tennekoon G, Day JW, Finkel RS, Mercuri E, De Vivo DC, Baldwin R, Bishop KM, Montes J; Evaluator training and reliability for SMA global Nusinersen trials. J Neuromuscul Dis. 2018;5(2):159-166. PMID: 29865090

6. Montes J, McDermott MP, Martens WB, Dunaway S, Glanzman AM, Riley S, Quigley J, Montgomery MJ, Sproule D, Tawil R, Chung WK, Darras BT, De Vivo DC, Kaufmann P, Finkel RS. Six-Minute Walk Test demonstrates motor fatigue in spinal muscular atrophy. Neurology. 2010 Mar 9;74(10):833-8. PubMed PMID: 20211907; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2839195.

7. Montes J, Dunaway S, Garber CE, Chiriboga CA, De Vivo DC, Rao AK. Leg muscle function and fatigue during walking in spinal muscular atrophy type 3. Muscle Nerve. 2014 Jul;50(1):34-9. PubMed PMID: 24122959.

8. Montes J, Kramer SS, Dunaway S, Montgomery M, Carr B, Rosenberg SK, Sproule DM, Strauss NE, Garber CE, DeVivo DC. A Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Exercise in Patients with Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Methods and Baseline Characteristics. Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases. 2014; 2:151-161. Pub Med PMID: 27858768.

9. Montes J, Zanotto D, Dunaway Young S, Salazar R, De Vivo DC, Agrawal S. Gait Assessment with SoleSound Instrumented Footwear in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2017 Aug;56(2):230-236. PMID 27863443

10. Montes J, Kramer S, Dunaway S, Montgomery M, Carr B, Rosenberg SK, Sproule D, Strauss NE, Garber CE, De Vivo DC. Single-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Exercise in Ambulatory Spinal Muscular Atrophy: Why are the Results Negative? Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases. 2015, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 463-470. PubMed PMID: 27858749.

11. Montes J, McIsaac TL, Dunaway S, Kamil-Rosenberg S, Sproule D, Garber CE, De Vivo DC, Rao AK. Falls and spinal muscular atrophy: exploring cause and prevention. Muscle Nerve. 2013 Jan;47(1):118-23. PubMed PMID: 23042039.

12. Dunaway S, Montes J, Garber CE, Carr B, Kramer SS, Kamil-Rosenberg S, Strauss N, Sproule D, De Vivo DC. Performance of the timed "up & go" test in spinal muscular atrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2014 Aug;50(2):273-7. PubMed PMID: 24375426.

13. Montes J, Glanzman AM, Mazzone ES, Martens WB, Dunaway S, Pasternak A, Riley SO, Quigley J, Pandya S, De Vivo DC, Kaufmann P, Chiriboga CA, Finkel RS, Tennekoon GI, Darras BT, Pane M, Mercuri E, McDermott MP. SMA functional composite score: A functional measure in spinal muscular atrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2015 Apr 3;PubMed PMID: 25846132.

14. Mercuri E, Finkel RS, Montes J, Mazzone ES, Sormani MP, Main M, Ramsey D, Mayhew A, Glanzman AM, Dunaway S, Salazar R, Pasternak A, Quigley J, Pane M, Pera MC, Scoto M, Messina S, Sframeli M, Vita GL, D'Amico A, van den Hauwe11 M, Sivo S, Goemans N, Kaufmann P, Darras BT, Bertini E, Muntoni F, De Vivo DC. Patterns of disease progression in ambulant and non-ambulant SMA: implications for clinical trials. Neuromuscular Disorders. Neuromuscul Disord. 2016 Feb;26(2):126-31. Epub 2015 Dec PMID: 26776503

15. Dunaway Young, S, Montes, J, Kramer, S, Marra, JD, Salazar, R, Chiriboga, CA, Garber, C, De Vivo, DC. Six-Minute Walk Test is Reliable and Valid in Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Muscle and Nerve. 2016 Nov;54(5):836-842.
Montes J, Dunaway S, Montgomery MJ, Sproule D, Kaufmann P, De Vivo DC, Rao AK. Fatigue leads to gait changes in spinal muscular atrophy. Muscle Nerve. 2011 Apr;43(4):485-8. PubMed PMID: 21404286.

16. Montes J, Blumenschine M, Dunaway S, Alter AS, Engelstad K, Rao AK, Chiriboga CA, Sproule DM, De Vivo DC. Weakness and fatigue in diverse neuromuscular diseases. J Child Neurol. 2013 Oct;28(10):1277-83. PubMed PMID: 23847297.

17. Montes J, Levy G, Albert S, Kaufmann P, Buchsbaum R, Gordon PH, Mitsumoto H. Development and evaluation of a self-administered version of the ALSFRS-R. Neurology. 2006 Oct 10;67(7):1294-6. PubMed PMID: <17030772.<br />
18. Gordon PH, Cheng B, Montes J, Doorish C, Albert SM, Mitsumoto H. Outcome measures for early phase clinical trials. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2007 Oct;8(5):270-3. PubMed PMID: 17852017.

19. Montes J, Cheng B, Diamond B, Doorish C, Mitsumoto H, Gordon PH. The Timed Up and Go test: predicting falls in ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler. 2007 Oct;8(5):292-5. PubMed PMID: 17852012.

20. Chen A, Montes J, Mitsumoto H. The role of exercise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2008 Aug;19(3):545-57, ix-x. PubMed PMID: 18625415.

21. Dunaway S, Montes J, Ryan PA, Montgomery M, Sproule DM, De Vivo DC. Spinal muscular atrophy type III: trying to understand subtle functional change over time--a case report. J Child Neurol. 2012 Jun;27(6):779-85. PubMed PMID: 22156787.

22. Blumenschine M, Montes J, Rao AK, Engelstad K, De Vivo DC. Analysis of Gait Disturbance in Glut 1 Deficiency Syndrome. J Child Neurol. 2016 Nov;31(13):1483-1488.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography