Tim Butterfield, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA completed his PhD at the University of Calgary, and post-doctoral training at the Ohio State University. He is currently a Professor in the College of Health Sciences, Department of Athletic Training & Clinical Nutrition, and is a member of the University of Kentucky Center for Muscle Biology. His area of research is muscle mechanics / physiology with a current focus on plasticity and the restoration of mechanical function following damage, injury, or atrophy in striated muscle.
Muscle mechanics, muscle physiology, biomechanics
Dr. Butterfield’s research interests focus on the restoration of skeletal muscle function. Muscle injuries comprise the majority of acute musculoskeletal injuries seen in sports medicine clinics with the predominant type being strain injuries. Fortunately for us, skeletal muscle has the amazing ability to repair, regrow and adapt for the majority of our lifetime and the related alterations in overall muscle function is derived from the mechanical properties of the individual structures from which it is made. During times of abnormal loading such as long-term immobilization, the architecture and orientation of the structures adapt due to the muscle’s new and limited range of motion. Although atrophy and dysfunction are evident when the immobilization device is removed, the underlying structural changes that drive this dysfunction are complex, and three-dimensional. A thorough understanding of the structure of muscle is essential to assess, measure and modify its function. Dr. Butterfield has fabricated several novel experimental devices to use in his lab when none existed as a means to data collection, and currently holds several patents. He is currently exploring the interactions of loading magnitude, frequency and duration and their effects on the architecture and function of both young and old muscles and the efficacy of externally applied loads to attenuate the progression of atrophy during disuse. His models include in-vivo ambulation and exercise models that allow the direct, real time measurements of mechanical properties and performance of skeletal muscle during modified use.
Dr. Butterfield resides in Lexington with his wife Cindy, stepsons Zachary and Aiden, and their two Old World German Shepherds Lieben and Blume. When he is not in a wood or metal shop, he spends his free time outdoors in a variety of activities, his favorite of which is hiking and snowshoeing in cold and snowy mountain ranges.