Molecular mechanism of muscle contraction

Background and Training

PhD: San Diego State University and UC San Diego

Postdoctoral training: University of Vermont

Research Summary

Muscle is a complex tissue that couples the energy released from biochemical reactions to mechanical movement, resulting in contraction. To facilitate this contraction (shortening) of the tissue, two proteins, myosin and actin, interact directly and repeatedly. My graduate and postdoctoral training focused on the relationship between structure and function in both myosin and actin. Primarily, I compared the biochemical properties of isolated and purified myosin isoforms or actin isoforms.

Currently, I am a teaching faculty member in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department so I do not coordinate my own research lab. But I support research activities and mentor students in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Miller, a faculty member in the Kinesiology Department here at UMass Amherst. This laboratory investigates the effects of aging, exercise, and fatigue on skeletal muscle performance.