This program provides interdisciplinary training in muscle biology for pre- and postdoctoral students. The program emphasizes the functional, structural and molecular properties of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle, and the modification of these properties in various disease states. 17 of our faculty members come from 3 basic science departments (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics and Physiology) and from the Department of Medicine at the School of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB), and 1 from the School of Nursing, UMB. Affiliate faculty also come from 1 department in the College of Engineering at our sister campus, University of Maryland Baltimore County and from Morgan State University. Trainees are drawn from all of the participating departments and from our interdepartmental PhD Programs. Reflecting our diversity of faculty backgrounds, the training offered ranges from the molecular biological determinants of muscle development and molecular aspects of structure and function of muscle proteins through cell biological aspects of muscle cytoskeleton and matrix, biophysical and physiological analysis of individual muscle cell function and biomechanical properties of whole muscles and muscular organs, and the effects of muscle disease at all these levels of examination. Our faculty is nationally and internationally recognized in the areas of calcium control of muscle function and muscle cytoskeleton and matrix. Our students will receive training in these and in a variety of related areas, with emphasis on the use of several complimentary techniques to approach each question under investigation. The major didactic aspect of the predoctoral training is two one- semester interdisciplinary courses on muscle that are already regularly offered by the program faculty and which have been well received by past student groups. Program activities include an annual on campus Mini-Retreat which includes trainee posters and a well known muscle researcher as program visitor and keynote speaker, a semi annual Wade Memorial lectureship and monthly Muscle Program Laboratory Rounds lunch meetings for all trainees, as well as training in professional development and grant writing, and in the responsible conduct of research. We will continue at our present level of 5 predoctoral trainees and 6 postdoctoral trainees throughout the renewal period. Entering predoctoral trainees will continue to have a solid background in biology, chemistry and/or physics, excellent GRE scores and strong letters of recommendation. Incoming postdoctoral trainees will have completed a solid PhD thesis and have strong letters of recommendation. Trainees from this program will be prepared to bring a wide range of approaches to bear on answering basic questions in muscle biology and on the bases for muscle diseases and their possible treatment and eventual cure. This program therefore serves a national need for competent multi-disciplinary investigators of muscle function and disease.

Public Health Relevance

Muscular dystrophies and other primary diseases of skeletal muscle, as well as muscle dysfunction and the resulting impaired mobility occurring as a secondary effect of immobility, aging or other disease states, remain important public health issues. This program will train pre- and postdoctoral trainees in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of muscle and muscle disease at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole animal levels. Our trainees will provide an important future resource in the search for remedies and eventual cures for a variety of primary and secondary diseases of muscle.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Institutional National Research Service Award (T32)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee (AMS)
Program Officer
Boyce, Amanda T
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Maryland Baltimore
Schools of Medicine
United States
Zip Code
Morgan, Sarah J; Deshpande, Deepak A; Tiegs, Brian C et al. (2014) ?-Agonist-mediated relaxation of airway smooth muscle is protein kinase A-dependent. J Biol Chem 289:23065-74
Dippold, Rachael P; Fisher, Steven A (2014) A bioinformatic and computational study of myosin phosphatase subunit diversity. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 307:R256-70
Deshpande, Deepak A; Yan, Huandong; Kong, Kok-Choi et al. (2014) Exploiting functional domains of GRK2/3 to alter the competitive balance of pro- and anticontractile signaling in airway smooth muscle. FASEB J 28:956-65
Dippold, Rachael P; Fisher, Steven A (2014) Myosin phosphatase isoforms as determinants of smooth muscle contractile function and calcium sensitivity of force production. Microcirculation 21:239-48
Kerr, Jaclyn P; Ward, Christopher W; Bloch, Robert J (2014) Dysferlin at transverse tubules regulates Ca(2+) homeostasis in skeletal muscle. Front Physiol 5:89
Kombairaju, Ponvijay; Kerr, Jaclyn P; Roche, Joseph A et al. (2014) Genetic silencing of Nrf2 enhances X-ROS in dysferlin-deficient muscle. Front Physiol 5:57
Beazley, Kelly E; Nurminskaya, Maria (2014) BMP2 cross-linked by transglutaminase 2 to collagen-plla scaffold promotes osteogenic differentiation in mesenchymal stem cells. Biotechnol Lett 36:1901-7
Ackermann, Maegen A; Shriver, Marey; Perry, Nicole A et al. (2014) Obscurins: Goliaths and Davids take over non-muscle tissues. PLoS One 9:e88162
Hernández-Ochoa, Erick O; Olojo, Rotimi O; Rebbeck, Robyn T et al. (2014) ?1a490-508, a 19-residue peptide from C-terminal tail of Cav1.1 ?1a subunit, potentiates voltage-dependent calcium release in adult skeletal muscle fibers. Biophys J 106:535-47
Wimmer, Robert J; Liu, Yewei; Schachter, Tova Neustadt et al. (2014) Mathematical modeling reveals modulation of both nuclear influx and efflux of Foxo1 by the IGF-I/PI3K/Akt pathway in skeletal muscle fibers. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 306:C570-84

Showing the most recent 10 out of 73 publications