Muscle Biology

Grace Walton, PhD

Adipose-Specific Metabolic Effects of Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Exosomes

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

This study will provide a better understanding of the role of exosomes in the systemic adaptations that occur in response to resistance exercise.

Project Period: 10/04/2019 to 07/31/2020

Total Award: $76,500


Christopher Fry, PhD

Characterization and Novel Imaging of Skeletal Muscle Fibrosis in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

Albert Einstein College of Medicine (NIDDK)

The focus of this application is the characterization of skeletal muscle fibrosis in an ongoing study of patients with advanced CKD and the development of non- invasive imaging methods to quantify fibrotic burden that can be widely applied to populations at risk.

Project Period: 07/01/2019 to 12/31/2019

Total Award: $18,819


Christopher Fry, PhD

Dose-ranging safety and efficacy studies to advance novel mechanism-of-action drug candidates to reverse age-related muscle degeneration

Ridgeline Therapeutics

The objective of this Phase I project is to demonstrate proof-of-principal and safety for novel mechanism-of-action therapeutic candidates using translationally relevant muscle growth/function models in aged animals and appropriate in vivo safety models.

Project Period: 07/01/2019 to 03/31/2020

Total Award: $75,367


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC

Massage as an Intervention for Muscle Atrophy

Massage Therapy Foundation

This study tests the hypothesis that the mechanical action of massage on muscle will enhance protein synthesis and attenuate atrophy and that the contralateral limb will benefit through a cross over effect. This study will investigate the mechanisms underlying the responses.

Project Period: 10/01/2019 to 09/30/2020

Total Award: $30,000


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)

Alzheimer’s Disease Supplement to Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Exosomes Promote Adipocyte Lipolysis

National Institute on Aging

The purpose of the supplement is to extend the analysis of mechanisms underlying the benefits of physical activity on the Alzheimer’s disease brain.

Project Period: 08/01/2019 to 07/31/2023

Total Award: $382,000


Christopher Fry, PhD

Development of NNMT Inhibitors as Novel Interventions to Activate Quiescent Muscle Stem Cells and Improve Age-related Muscle Degeneration

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (National Institute on Aging)

The purpose of this project is to validate the novel small molecule NNMT inhibitors as safe and effective therapeutic leads to increase muscle regeneration and function in aged animals.

Project Period: 07/01/2019 to 01/31/2021

Total Award: $39,382


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Senescence Research Project

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals Inc.

This study examines the short- and long-term regenerative response in mice to the injection of a senolytic cocktail.

Project Period: 11/01/2018 to 10/31/2019

Total Award: $38,464


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)

Exercise-induced Skeletal Muscle Exosomes Promote Adipocyte Lipolysis

National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

This study investigates the mechanism through which resistance exercise causes skeletal muscle to communicate with adipose tissue to promote the burning of fat. The findings from this study are expected to provide the fundamental knowledge necessary to develop a novel therapeutic strategy to treat obesity using exosomal miR-1 delivery to adipose tissue.

Project Period: 09/19/2018 to 07/31/2023

Total Award: $1,945,714


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

The Glenn Award for Research in Biological Mechanisms of Aging

Glenn Foundation for Medical Research

The Glenn Award is a one-time cash infusion of $60,000 to augment the research in Dr. Peterson's laboratory that furthers the mission of the Foundation, which is “to extend the healthy years of life through research on mechanisms of biology that govern normal human aging and its related physiological decline, with the objective of translating research into interventions that will extend healthspan with lifespan.”

Project Period: 09/18/2018 to 09/18/2020

Total Award: $60,000


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC

Administrative Supplement: Mechanisms Underlying Anabolic Effects of Cyclic Compressive Loading in Muscle

This study addresses the hypothesis that male and female rats will exhibit a different anabolic effect to cyclic compressive loading, a massage mimetic, during atrophy and during regrowth after atrophy with aging.

Sponsor: National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

Project Period: 09/12/2018 to 03/31/2022

Total Award: $99,450


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Intermittent Pneumatic Compression for Disability Reversal in PAD: The INTERCEDE Study

Northwestern University (National Institute on Aging)

In people with Peripheral Artery Disease, we will determine whether treatment with intermittent pneumatic compressive augments the benefits of exercise, whether intermittent pneumatic compression alone improves walking performance compared to control, and whether the benefits of intermittent pneumatic compression are durable.

Project Period: 08/01/2018 to 04/30/2023

Total Award: $122,881


Christopher Fry, PhD

Myostatin Alters Muscle Composition as the Result of an ACL Injury

National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases

This study is to determine the time course of deleterious changes within the injured limb muscle and identify myostatin as integral in the etiology of protracted muscle weakness in individuals following an ACL tear and reconstruction.

Project Period: 03/26/2018 to 02/28/2023

Total Award: $2,186,072


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Hepatocyte Growth Factor to Improve Walking Performance in PAD: the HI-PAD Study

Northwestern University (National Institute on Aging)
The HI-PAD Study will provide preliminary data to test the hypotheses that VM202, a novel gene therapy injected into calf muscles, significantly improves walking performance as compared to placebo in older people with PAD.

Project Period: 09/15/2017 to 05/31/2020

Total Award: $35,849


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC

Mechanisms Underlying Anabolic Effects of Cyclic Compressive Loading in Muscle

National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health

This study explores the use of massage as an intervention to decrease muscle atrophy during disuse and to increase the ability to regrow muscle size after inactivity and will determine underlying mechanisms underlying these beneficial effects.

Project Period: 04/01/2017 to 03/31/2022

Total Award: $2,122,436


D. Travis Thomas, PhD, RDN, CSSD, LD, FAND

The Contribution of Vitamin D to Muscle Metabolic Function in Cancer Cachexia - University of Kentucky Center for Cancer and Metabolism (Project 1)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

This research examines mitochondrial function and anabolic resistance as potential targets of action of vitamin D on muscle metabolism, size and strength in preventing the progression of cancer cachexia.

Project Period: 03/01/2017 to 12/31/2021

Total Award: $1,680,970


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Improve PAD PERformance with METformin: The PERMET Trial

Northwestern University (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)

This study explores if Metformin, an inexpensive, widely available, and well-tolerated medication for Type 2 diabetes, will improve walking ability and prevent mobility loss in people with PAD.

Project Period: 12/09/2016 to 11/30/2021

Total Award: $121,031


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Assessing the Health Effects of Blast Injuries and Embedded Metal Fragments

University of Maryland at Baltimore (U.S. Department of Defense)

The primary objective of this project is to determine if the adverse health effects caused by embedded metal fragments can be predicted by changes in gene and microRNA expression in the surrounding muscle, urine or serum. The identification of such an early biomarker has important clinical implications in providing treatment to wounded warriors before the onset of adverse health effects.

Project Period: 09/30/2016 to 09/29/2021

Total Award: $1,845,214


Charlotte Peterson, PhD & John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)

The Effects of Exercise on Satellite Cell Dynamics during Aging

National Institute on Aging

The purpose of this study is to better understand how aging and exercise affects satellite cell dynamics and the regulation of fibrosis.

Sponsor: Project Period: 01/01/2016 to 11/30/2020

Total Award: $1,751,753


Charlotte Peterson, PhD

Telmisartan Plus Exercise to Improve Functioning in PAD: The TELEX Trial

Northwestern University (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute)

Based on promising preliminary evidence, this study explores whether or not Telmisartan, an oral angiotensin receptor blocker, will improve walking ability and prevent functional decline in people with PAD, and if Telmisartan combined with supervised exercise will have substantially greater benefit than either individual therapy alone.

Sponsor: Project Period: 08/17/2015 to 04/30/2020

Total Award: $204,342


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)

Novel Roles for Satellite Cells in Adult Skeletal Muscle Adaptation

National Institute of Arthritis & Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases

This study will test the hypothesis that activated satellite cells are capable of repressing the synthesis of extracellular matrix components by fibroblasts through exosomal delivery of satellite cell-derived microRNAs and to determine if the increased fibrosis is responsible for limiting long-term hypertrophic growth.

Project Period: 07/27/2015 to 06/30/2020

Total Award: $1,627,725


Charlotte Peterson, PhD and Philip Kern, MD (College of Medicine)

Novel Actions of Metformin to Augment Resistance Training Adaptations in Older Adults

National Institute on Aging

This study explores the central hypothesis that adjuvant Metformin may improve the responses to progressive resistance exercise training (PRT) in the elderly by altering the muscle tissue inflammatory environment, thereby enhancing mechanisms that drive PRT-induced myofiber hypertrophy.

Project Period: 09/01/2014 to 05/31/2020

Total Award: $2,908,709

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