Neuromuscular development and regeneration, animal models of neuromuscular disorders, and sarcopenia.
The broad goal of my research is to understand how communication between motor neurons and muscle fibers guides the development of the neuromuscular junction and how this communication breaks-down following injury or disease. My lab is currently investigating how NANOG and glutamatergic signaling influences the recovery of neural function after peripheral nerve injury and diabetic neuropathy. Peripheral nerves have the capacity to regenerate; however, functional motor recovery is limited. Preclinical studies suggest that there is a critical period for when reinnervation needs to occur for function to return. Our goal is to manipulate expression of NANOG, a pluripotency-associated transcription factor, to reprogram cells within the neuromuscular system and expand the critical period for when functional reinnervation is possible.
My teaching includes Foundations in Physical Therapy 1 (PT 509) and Integumentary (PT 612).