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

Stephanie Moeckel-Cole, Ph.D.

Post-Doctoral Researcher
(413) 577-4703

I joined the Muscle Biology and Imaging Lab as a post-doctoral researcher in 2008.  During my time in the MBIL, I have been the site coordinator for the STOMP study. STOMP is a four-year clinical study investigating the effects of six months of statin treatment on skeletal muscle performance in healthy subjects of all ages (20+).  This study is funded by Hartford Hospital and the NIH (prime). For my future work I am interested in how complementary therapies such as exercise prescriptions can help improve outcomes for cancer survivors. This winter I will be teaching Anatomy and Physiology I online for the University. I am also an adjunct faculty lecturer at Holyoke Community College where I currently teach Introductory Biology and Anatomy and Physiology.

I received my PhD in the Molecular and Cellular Biology program at UMass Amherst with my dissertation titled: Organization and Maintenance of the Motor Nerve Terminal: Roles for Presynaptic Actin and Perisynaptic Schwann Cells. I hold Bachelors of Science degrees in Exercise Science and Biology and a Master of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology, all from UMass Amherst. The title of my Masters thesis was: Par6 functions in Synaptic Growth at the Drosophila Neuromuscular Junction. My graduate work focused on factors that are involved in synaptic plasticity of the neuromuscular junction, from a neuronal and glial perspective. During the last year of my PhD work I was a confocal microscopist to the UMass central microscopy facility where I trained users as well as provided imaging services. 

My hobbies include running after my two children, Atticus and Charis, hiking, skiing, and hunting for treasure at local auction and flea markets. I also dearly love to travel and try to visit new places as often as I can, especially with my family. 


1.Roche, JP, Packard, MC, Moeckel-Cole, S, Budnik, V. Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity and Synaptic Vesicle Dynamics by the PDZ Protein Scribble. Journal of Neuroscience. 22: 6471-6479, 2002.

2.Ruiz-Canada, C, Ashley, J, Moeckel-Cole, S, Drier, E, Yin, J, Budnik V. New Synapse Formation Disrupted by Misregulation of Microtubule Stability in aPKC Mutants. Neuron. 42: 567-80, 2004.

3.Moeckel-Cole, SA and Clarkson, PM, Rhabdomyolysis in a Collegiate Football Player, Journal of Strength and Conditioning. July 2009. 


1.Moeckel-Cole, SA, An Image is Worth a 1000 Gels, Symposium, New England Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, Regional Meeting. Providence, RI. November 2008

2.Moeckel-Cole, S, Lynch, K, Gordish-Dressman, H, Hubal, M, Hoffman, E, and Clarkson, PM. Associations Between mTOR Genotypes with Strength Loss after Eccentric Exercise. American College of Sports Medicine, Annual Meeting..Seattle, WA. May 2009

Immunohistochemistry Images:


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.