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Our laboratory's research is focused on causes and treatment of skeletal muscle atrophy, a common and debilitating condition that diminishes the health and quality of life of many patients with diabetes. To better understand causes of muscle atrophy, we are investigating how conditions such as diabetes alter muscle gene expression, and how these changes in gene expression cause muscle atrophy. Because a pharmacologic therapy for muscle atrophy does not exist, we are using systems-based strategies to search for a therapy. Thus far, we have discovered several small molecules that inhibit muscle atrophy, including ursolic acid, a natural compound found in apple peels and other edible plant materials. At least some of these small molecules also reduce obesity and blood glucose. We are now pursuing these small molecules as potential therapeutic agents for patients with muscle atrophy, obesity and diabetes.
Office: 4322 PBDB Phone: 319-353-5786 Faculty Profile