Gretchen A. Meyer, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Physical Therapy
Biomedical Engineering

Developmental, Regenerative and Stem Cell Biology Program

  • 314 286-1425

  • 8502


  • Understanding how changes at the molecular and cellular level in skeletal muscle affect muscle structure and function

Research Abstract:

The integrative muscle physiology research group focuses on understanding how changes at the molecular and cellular level in skeletal muscle affect muscle structure and function. And, in turn, how pathological changes in muscle loading and use affect cellular processes. We currently have two main research projects, one looking at the progressive changes to the rotator cuff following a tear and another investigating the drivers and consequences of the development of intramuscular (extra-fibrillar) fat.

Current Projects:

1) Rotator Cuff Pathology

Tears to the rotator cuff are one of the most commonly treated orthopaedic problems. Interventional success is highly dependent on muscle quality which ranges from healthy contractile tissue to >90% replacement with fat and connective tissue, depending on the severity and chronicity of the tear. This project is focused on understanding the mechanical drivers behind these pathological changes and investigating whether the resident muscle progenitor cell population can be used as a therapeutic target to promote growth and healing in the affected muscles.

2) Development of Intramuscular Fat

The appearance of fat cells between muscle fibers is a hallmark of a variety of muscle diseases including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Type II diabetes and rotator cuff tears. Little is known about the source of this fat, the signals that drive its formation or the functional consequences on muscle performance. This project seeks to investigate the sensitivity of the progenitor cells thought to be the source of this fat to mechanical signals for adipo- and myogenesis and evaluate them as potential targets for physical interventions. On the other side, we are also investigating the physiological consequences of replacing contractile tissue with fat at the muscle and muscle systems levels.

Selected Publications:

Skeletal muscle intermediate filaments form a stress-transmitting and stress-signaling network.
Palmisano MG, Bremner SN, Hornberger TA, Meyer GA, Domenighetti AA, Shah SB, Kiss B, Kellermayer M, Ryan AF, Lieber RL.
J Cell Sci. 2015 Jan 15;128(2):219-24. doi: 10.1242/jcs.142463. Epub 2014 Nov 20.

Muscle progenitor cell regenerative capacity in the torn rotator cuff.
Meyer GA, Farris AL, Sato E, Gibbons M, Lane JG, Ward SR, Engler AJ.
J Orthop Res. 2015 Mar;33(3):421-9. doi: 10.1002/jor.22786. Epub 2015 Jan 6.

Extracellular matrix regulation in the muscle satellite cell niche.
Thomas K, Engler AJ, Meyer GA.
Connect Tissue Res. 2015 Feb;56(1):1-8. doi: 10.3109/03008207.2014.947369. Epub 2014 Aug 12. Review.

Role of the cytoskeleton in muscle transcriptional responses to altered use.
Meyer GA, Schenk S, Lieber RL.
Physiol Genomics. 2013 Apr 16;45(8):321-31. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00132.2012. Epub 2013 Feb 26.

Systems analysis of biological networks in skeletal muscle function.
Smith LR, Meyer G, Lieber RL.
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;5(1):55-71. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1197. Epub 2012 Nov 27. Review.

Last Updated: 7/6/2016 4:03:18 PM

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