Karen Kilgore PhD

Mind-Body Practitioner, Teacher, and Researcher
Patient Advisor

Dr. Kilgore is a qualitative methods researcher. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Early in her career, she studied the perspectives of special education teachers regarding their students with special needs and teachers' abilities to meet those needs within varied educational contexts. Her most recent projects include collaborations with mixed methods teams, studying the mind-body connection, at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her teams’ research efforts have focused on multi-modal approaches to address chronic pain and breathlessness, exploring the usefulness of meditative movement, such as Tai Chi, to develop greater body awareness, capacity to regulate breathing during physical activity, and improve health-related quality of life. One of her teams’ recent studies explored the problem of breathlessness—how it has been perceived and treated in the medical setting, revealing the limitations of current medical approaches. Dr. Kilgore is a Research Affiliate with the Osher Center and serves as the Qualitative Research Director of the ILD Collaborative.

She is also a long-time Tai Chi practitioner in the Yang style and certified in the following strategies to support health and wellness: The Eight Active Ingredients of Tai Chi (as described by Peter Wayne in The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi); mat and equipment Pilates Instructor (through Stott Pilates); Health and Wellness Coaching (through the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota); and End of Life Doula (through the University of Vermont).

On a personal level, Dr. Kilgore’s family has been identified as having Alpha1Antitrypsin Deficiency, resulting in a variety of pulmonary and hepatic outcomes for family members. She enjoys life, while managing her chronic pulmonary condition in multiple ways.