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Muscle Biology

Charlotte Peterson, PhD
COCOA Flavanols to Improve Walking Performance in PAD: the COCOA-PAD II Trial
Northwestern University (National Institutes of Health)
This double-blinded, multi-centered randomized trial in 190 participants with PAD, to definitively determine whether 6-months of cocoa flavanols significantly improves 6- minute walk distance at six-month follow-up, compared to placebo. The investigators at UK will measure changes in capillary density, myofiber size, and central nuclei in calf muscle biopsy specimens obtained from participants randomized in Chicago who consent to muscle biopsy.
Project Period: 07/2021 to 06/2026
Total Value: $88,420


Christopher Fry, PhD
Preserving Physical Function in Patients with Kidney Disease
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
This study will define specific cellular adaptations underlying the skeletal muscle pathology in patients with chronic kidney disease. Identification of these biologic mechanisms is needed to delineate the etiology of skeletal muscle pathophysiology and identify novel therapeutic targets that can be pursued in future studies.
Period of Performance: 08/2021 to 06/2026
Total Value: $479,524


Charlotte Peterson, PhD, and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)
The Role of Satellite Cells in Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy with Aging
National Institute on Aging
The purpose of this five-year study is to better understand the role of skeletal muscle stem cells (satellite cells) in the blunted growth response to exercise in the elderly, thereby providing a foundation for the potential use of stem cell therapy to prevent or restore losses in skeletal muscle mass during aging.
Project Period: 08/2021 to 04/2026
Total Value: $1,794,362


Charlotte Peterson, PhD, and John McCarthy, PhD (College of Medicine)
The Role of the Gut Microbiota in Sarcopenia
National Institute on Aging
The purpose of this exploratory grant is to test the hypothesis that dysbiosis of the gut microbiota promotes sarcopenia by inducing a state of anabolic resistance in skeletal muscle through TLR4 hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling.
Project Period: 05/01/2021 to 01/31/2022
Total Value: $406,220


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD, and Alexander Sklivas, MS
Diversity Supplement: Mechanisms Underlying Anabolic Effects of Cyclic Compressive Loading in Muscle
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
This administrative supplement will provide training for Alexander Sklivas in the laboratory of Dr. Dupont-Versteegden as a predoctoral Fellow. 
Project Period: 04/01/2021to 03/31/2022
Total Value: $66,343


Charlotte Peterson, PhD & Cory Dungan, PhD
Boehringer Ingelheim Novel Compound Project
Boehringer Ingelheim
Project Period: 02/2021 to 02/2022


Charlotte Peterson, PhD, and Kate Kosmac, PhD
Novel Gastrocnemius Muscle Characteristics in Peripheral Artery Disease Patients
National Institute on Aging
The goal of this study is to identify aberrant properties of muscle to aide in the development of new targeted interventions to improve walking ability in individuals with PAD.
Project Period: 01/02/2021 to 12/31/2025
Total Value: $1,573,904


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD, and John McCarthy (College of Medicine)
DNA Turnover in Myofibers is an Unrecognized Mechanism for Maintaining Skeletal Muscle Health
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (NIH/NIAMS)
This study uses a mouse model to unambiguously determine if resident nuclei in skeletal muscle replicated. If we show that nuclei in muscle cells do indeed replicate, this could lead to completely new treatments for muscle loss associated with age and disease.
Project Period: 10/01/2020 to 09/30/2022
Total Value: $87,554


Charlotte Peterson, PhD
Nicotinomide Riboside With and Without Resveratrol to Improve Functioning in Peripheral Artery Disease: The NICE Trial
Northwestern University (American Heart Association)
The goal of this study is to determine whether a novel intervention, nicotinamide riboside (NR), with and without resveratrol, improves walking performance in people with peripheral artery disease by improving calf muscle mitochondrial dysfunction.
Project Period: 07/01/2020 to 03/31/2022
Total Value: $17,467


Jean Fry, PhD, RDN
Diversity Supplement: Mechanistic Assessment of Blood Flow Restricted Training for an ACL Injury
National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal & Skin Diseases
The goal of this study is to determine whether insufficient dietary vitamin D intake or status exacerbates expected decrements in type 2a fiber cross sectional area associated with ACL tear.
Project Period: 09/25/2020 to 06/30/2022
Total Value - $274,182


Esther Dupont-Versteegden, PhD & Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC
Mechanisms underlying local and systemic effects of massage
NIH/National Center for Complementary & Integrative Health
The goal of this study is to determine anabolic effects of massage in human muscle, and to identify whether extracellular vesicles released with massage are candidates for beneficial effects of this mechanotherapy on muscle as well as other organs.
Project Period: 08/01/2020 to 07/31/2022
Total Award: $440,151


Christopher Fry, PhD
STTR: Preclinical Studies to Validate the Efficacy of Novel Mechanism-of-Action Small Molecule Inhibitors to Treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Ridgeline Therapeutics (NIH)
The purpose of UK’s role in this project is to complete repeat oral-dosing and chow-admixed drug pharmacokinetic studies to validate systemic exposures and route of drug delivery for RLT-72484 and complete in vivo efficacy studies using translationally-relevant complementary DMD mouse models.
Project Period: 02/01/2020 to 08/31/2022
Total Award: $120,543


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 12/19/2021
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.
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
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: $1,858,598


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


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 09/29/2022
Total Award: $1,845,214