Center for Muscle Research

This Research Center focuses on the pathophysiology of skeletal muscle. The Center is composed of 3 collaborative laboratories each headed by a Faculty Principal Investigator.

The focus of these laboratories includes Excitation Contraction Coupling (skeletal and cardiac), calcium metabolism in skeletal muscle, and the involvement of adhesion molecules and stem cells in remodeling of injured muscle.

Labs & Principal Investigators

Westerman Group

The Westerman Group has been characterizing a unique type of muscle stem cell, referred to as myosphere cells. These cells form non-adherent spheres in culture and can maintained in a primitive ‘pre-myogenic’ state for long periods of time. In characterizing these cells we became interested in adhesion molecules that maintain these cells as spheres in culture.

Fessenden Lab

The Fessenden Lab studies fundamental Ca2+ signaling mechanisms in skeletal muscle through structural analysis of the type 1 ryanodine receptor (RyR1), an enormous intracellular Ca2+ release channel which plays a pivotal role in skeletal muscle excitation contraction (EC) coupling.

Perez Group

The Perez Group is focused in understanding the molecular mechanisms that control Ca2+ release and Ca2+ homeostasis in striated muscles under normal and myopathic conditions.