Karen Francis

Karen L. Francis


Department Chair
Full-Time Faculty
Harney Science Center 116


Karen L. Francis, PhD, is a Professor and Co-chair in the Kinesiology Department at the University of San Francisco. She teaches courses in Motor Control and Motor Learning and Neuroscience. Dr. Francis's research interests are focused on how we control and coordinate movement and how aging and disease affects our ability to control movements. Dr. Francis is currently the President of the American Kinesiology Association. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Big City Mountaineers; a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the lives of under-resourced teens through transformative backcountry experiences. She is also a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity.


  • Motor Control and Learning

Research Areas

  • The effects of aging and disease on movement control and coordination


  • Co-Chair, Kinesiology Department
  • President, American Kinesiology Association
  • National Board Member, Big City Mountaineers


  • The University of Texas, PhD, Kinesiology: Motor Control and Learning, 2000
  • The University of Texas, MA, Kinesiology and Health Education, 1996
  • The Ohio State University, Health Education, 1992

Selected Publications

  • Francis, K.L., MacRae, P.G., Spirduso, W.W., & Eakin, T. (2016). Age and practice effects on manual asymmetry. In Bryden, P., Mason, A.H., & Gonzalez, C.L.R (Eds.), Manual asymmetry, handedness and motor performance (pp. 45-54). Lausanne: Frontiers Media.

  • Schott, N., Frankel, M., Korbus, H. & Francis, K.L. (2013). Mental Practice in Orthopedic Rehabilitation: A case report. Movement & Sport Sciences, 82, 93-103.

  • Eakin, T., Spirduso, W. W., & Francis, K.L. (2012). Dynamic Variability of Isometric Action Tremor in Precision Pinching. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine, vol. 2012,vol. 2012, Article ID 975735, 9 pages, 2012.