Neuromuscular Physiology Laboratory
The overall goal of our laboratory's research is to develop effective and implementable interventions that increase muscle function (e.g., muscle strength, motor control, fatigue-resistance) and mobility in older adults, and/or patients with orthopedic and neurologic disabilities. We conduct basic and applied science human neuromuscular physiology experiments as well as randomized controlled trials.
The laboratory maintains programmatic efforts in two focused areas:
- The neuromuscular mechanisms of muscle weakness, fatigue-resistance, and mobility limitations.
- Interventional strategies to enhance physical function and independence in older adults.
Through strong collaborations, the laboratory is also integrally involved in research and development that better understand the causes of musculoskeletal pain (e.g., low back pain) and injury as well as the development of non-surgical strategies to rehabilitate individuals suffering from musculoskeletal pain and injury.
Lastly, we are also involved in efforts to develop novel technological approaches for studying neuromusculoskeletal health in humans (e.g., development of cortical bone mechanics technology that quantifies the mechanical properties of bone in vivo). Overall, this work seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal and neurological disorders, and the research across these respective foci has an overarching aim of developing interventions that remove barriers to independent physical mobility and ultimately reduce disability.
To accomplish this work, we use a large variety of experimental techniques, such as mechanical recordings of voluntary and electrically-stimualted muscle force, medical imaging (e.g., magnetic resonance imaging, DXA), physical function testing (e.g., mobility assessments, maximal aerobic capacity), non-invasive brain stimulation (e.g., transcranial magnetic stimulation) and advanced electrophysiological recordings (single fiber EMG, single motor unit analysis).