Picture of Dr. Berdeaux & Dr. Chang

As people age, their muscle regeneration capacity declines because they can no longer generate enough muscle stem cells to replace damaged tissue. To offset that, a scientist UTHealth is working to enhance the body’s ability to repair damaged skeletal muscle.

The research is supported with a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Increasing the number of stem cells could enhance growth of new muscle, believes the study’s principal investigator, Rebecca Berdeaux, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and Pharmacology with McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.

“Muscle stem cells are normally dormant until an injury occurs. We’re researching the molecular mechanisms that boost the cells’ ability to multiply,” Berdeaux said.

One of three types of muscle, skeletal muscles control your every movement and utilize much of the energy from your diet. Sports, aging, and genetics can contribute to skeletal muscle injury. During aging, loss of muscle reduces quality of life.

 

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