HHS Grant will fund research on muscle weakness
Clark, Ph.D., assistant professor of physiology, is the
principal investigator on $426,000 research grant from the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Clark’s research revolves around the question: What causes the loss
of muscle strength and coordination, and can these losses be
prevented? He studies the neurological aspects of muscle weakness
and performance—in other words, how the brain controls our muscles.
In this project Clark investigates muscle weakness related to aging
and disuse. He utilizes transcranial magnetic stimulation, a
non-invasive method of exciting neurons in the brain, to assess the
excitability of the part of the brain that controls our limb
“Aging-related muscle weakness limits independence and contributes
to the development of age-related disabilities,” Clark said. “We
hope to better understand the physiology behind loss of muscle
strength, in order to contribute to the development of better
treatments and rehabilitation methods that promote healthy muscle
The grant will help cover the cost of three faculty salaries at Ohio
University, and one or two full-time research technicians for three
years. The research will take place in the Institute for
Neuromusculoskeletal Research at Ohio University. Clark will work
with two faculty co-investigators, James Thomas and David Russ, from
the Ohio University School of Physical Therapy.
“This is an important award for Dr. Clark and for OU-COM,” said
OU-COM Dean Jack Brose, D.O. “Dr. Clark’s achievement
reflects a strong college effort to increase NIH research funding.
His award marks the fifth grant received by our faculty as a result
of federal stimulus (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) funds.
I am very proud of the outstanding research conducted by Dr. Clark
and his colleagues in the Institute for Neuromusculoskeletal
The award is being made by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development, a division within