MUSCLE STEM CELLS & MUSCLE REGENERATION

We have different collaborative projects trying to understand muscle stem cells and their activities in different contexts.

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MUSCLE STEM CELLS & AGING

From Herodotus to Ponce de Leon, the fountain of youth and living longer has been the subject of intense focus. Currently there are no therapies for age-associated declines in the volume and function of skeletal muscle (a condition called sarcopenia). We are studying molecular mechanisms of how muscle stem cells age and conditions in which they can be rejuvenated. This work is a collaboration with  Prof. Susan V. Brooks – University of Michigan – Dept. of Molecular & Integrative Physiology.

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SATELLITE CELLS & NEUROMUSCULAR JUNCTION

The synapse between a motor neuron and muscle fiber is critically important for muscle actions and this interface is disrupted with aging and diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We are studying the connection between the NMJ and satellite cells in different models. This work is a collaboration between Prof. Young C. Jang – Georgia Institute of Technology, Prof. Susan V. Brooks – University of Michigan, and Prof. Joe V. Chakkalakal - University of Rochester.

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VOLUMETRIC MUSCLE LOSS

Severe extremity trauma resulting in volumetric muscle loss (VML) as observed in major accidents and combat engenders deleterious long-term effects (such as arthritis and atrophy). Currently, there are no therapies for VML or standards of care. We are studying molecular and cellular determinants of aberrant muscle regeneration induced from VML. This work is in collaboration with Dr. Ben Levi – University of Michigan – Dept. of Plastic Surgery.

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