Volunteer Opportunities

The Muscle Biology and Imaging Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst regularly seeks individuals to participate in research studies. View current volunteer opportunities.

Awards and Honors

View awards and honors received by MBIL graduate students.

MBIL Alumni

Doctoral students from the Muscle Biology and Imaging lab have gone onto prestigious positions at top research institutions across the country. View our alumni.

Department and College

Priscilla M. Clarkson

Laboratory Director
(413) 577-3902

Abbreviated Curriculum Vitae

Priscilla M. Clarkson is Dean of Commonwealth Honors College and Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology. Professor Clarkson is a fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and she has served as a member of the Board of Trustees. She served as President of the New England Regional ACSM Chapter, Vice-president of the National ACSM, President of the National ACSM, and President of the ACSM Foundation. She received the 1997 ACSM Citation Award, the 1999 New England ACSM Honor Award, the 2001 Excellence in Education Award from the Gatorade Sport Science Institute, the University of Massachusetts Chancellor's Medal in 1997, the 2005 National ACSM Honor Award, the University of Massachusetts Award for Outstanding Accomplishments in Research or Creative Activity, 2005, and the University of Massachusetts Graduate School Centennial Award, 2008. In 2007, she presented the keynote plenary Wolffe Lecture at the National ACSM meeting in New Orleans, attended by 5000 members.

Professor Clarkson has published over 200 scientific articles and has given numerous national and international scientific presentations. The major focus of her research is on how human skeletal muscle responds to environmental challenges such as over-exertion exercise resulting in muscle damage and disuse resulting in atrophy. She has also published in the area of sport nutrition. Professor Clarkson served as Editor for the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism for 8 years, serves on the editorial or advisory boards for several other scientific journals, and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Exercise and Sport Science Reviews. Her lifelong interest in classical ballet led her to co-author one book and co-edit another in the field of dance medicine. In addition to her research efforts, Professor Clarkson is a dedicated teacher and mentor to both undergraduate and graduate students. She had taught large general education lecture sections in kinesiology for over 20 years and mentored numerous graduate students.

Professor Clarkson has served on the Massachusetts Governor's Panel to improve police training practices to prevent cases of rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage) leading to kidney failure during training. She has served as a scientific advisor to the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), as a member of the Science Working Group at NASA to develop laboratories for Space Station, and as a scientific advisor to the National Space Biomedical Research Institute. Professor Clarkson also served as a member of the NCAA Competitive and Medical Safeguards Committee, on the National Commission on Sports and Substance Abuse, and on a subcommittee of the Committee for Military Nutrition at the Institute of Medicine. Professor Clarkson has served on the Research Review Board of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, the National Lipid Association Statin Safety: Muscle Expert Panel, and the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group.

Muscle Response Research

Activation of NF-kb in cells outside the myofiber boundary, 3h following eccentric exercise (ECC). A. Confocal images of triple stained 10µm sections from a representative ECC sample for dystrophin (dys=blue), the p-65 subunit of NF-kb (p65=green) and nuclei (topro3=red). White square in merged image denotes the boundaries of the inset image. Scale bar in top 3 images and merged image = 20µm; scale bar in inset image = 10µm. Read the abstract.

Resistance Exercise and Cancer

Dr. Clarkson's research on resistance exercise during breast cancer treatment is featured in Medical Hypothesis, a journal of theoretical papers in the biomedical sciences. Read the abstract.


Rhabdomyolysis is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that can develop unexpectedly under supervised conditions. Dr. Clarkson's 2009 paper in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examines a case of rhabdomyolysis in a healthy, fit 18-year-old placekicker following a supervised practice session led by the team's strength and conditioning coach. Following eight days of hospitalization with intravenous fluids, the patient recovered without complications. View the full abstract.