We are a group of faculty from HNFE, Animal & Poultry Sciences, and the VT Carilion Research Institute who are dedicated to the research of muscle disease and function.

Virginia Tech HNFE

Madlyn Frisard

Madlyn Frisard, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Realist approach to obesity treatment in children with a focus on biological parameters that influence adherence and outcomes; mechanisms underlying food and environmental changes in body weight through regulation of energy efficiency, appetite, and satiety; mitochondrial bioenergetics and its role in obesity and metabolic disease.

Rob Grange

Robert Grange, PhD
Associate Professor
Assistant Department Head

Pathogenic mechanisms in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Hulver, Matt

Matthew Hulver, PhD
Associate Professor, Department Head

Dysregulated skeletal muscle fatty acid metabolism as it pertains to the etiology of chronic diseases/disorders such as obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes; understanding the molecular mechanisms responsible for intramuscular lipid accumulation with obesity.

Virginia Tech Animal and Poultry Sciences

Dave Gerrard

Dave Gerrard, PhD
Professor, Department Head

Ongoing studies range from understanding the basic biochemistry involved in the transformation of muscle into meat, to applied studies involving technology transfer for monitoring fresh meat quality. Research includes fundamental studies focused on understanding muscle growth and development, which directly affects ultimate meat quality.  

Honglin Jiang

Honglin Jiang, PhD

Cellular and molecular mechanisms by which growth hormone and IGF-I regulate skeletal muscle, adipose tissue, and liver growth. Identification of novel genes, miRNAs, and bioactive molecules that regulate skeletal muscle and adipose tissue development and growth. Role of short-chain fatty acids (also called volatile fatty acids), in particular butyrate, in microbial and nutritional regulation of rumen development and adipose tissue growth.

Robert Rhoads

Robert Rhoads, PhD
Assistant Professor

Research mammalian growth and development with an emphasis on cellular and molecular mechanisms governing skeletal muscle size, regeneration, and metabolism. Skeletal muscle stem cell biology in various model systems including nutritional and age-related diseases such as metabolic syndrome, muscular dystrophy, and the impact of hyperthermia (as a result of environmental influences, exercise, and the combination thereof) on animal growth and performance.

Hao Shi

Hao Shi, PhD
Research Assistant Professor

Sudies skeletal muscle growth and muscle stem cell homeostasis under normal physiological and metabolically perturbed conditions. Investigation of the role of a novel metabolic pathway in postnatal muscle growth and maintenance; fhe findings will provide potential molecular targets for growth and medicinal intervention to benefit animal industry and human health.

Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute

John Chappel

John Chappel, PhD
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor, Center for Heart and Regenerative Medicine Research
Assistant Professor, VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences

Studies how the blood vasculature develops during early organ formation and during certain diseases such as tumor progression and neurological disorders. Increased insight into the basic mechanisms of blood vessel formation will guide the design of clinical therapies for vascular-related pathologies.

Robert Gourdie

Robert Gourdie, PhD
Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund Eminent Scholar in Heart Regenerative Medicine Research
Director, Center for Heart and Regenerative Medicine Research
Professor, VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
Professor of Emergency Medicine, VTCSM
Director of Emergency Medicine Research, Carilion Clinic

Researches the subunit proteins of gap junctions, which are called connexins (the channels that enable direct communication between cells).

Steven Poelzing

Steven Poelzing, PhD
Associate Professor
Associate Professor, VT-WFU School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, VTCSM

Seeks to determine how pathological insults such as cardiac inflammation and edema modulate the risk of sudden death in the young and how age changes this relationship.

James Smythe

James Smyth, PhD
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor, Center for Heart and Regenerative Medicine Research
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

Aims to understand mechanisms of cardiomyopathy at the subcellular level with the objective of identifying new targets for therapeutic interventions aimed at restoring normal cardiac function to diseased hearts.

Gregorio Valdez

Gregorio Valdez, PhD
Assistant Professor
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech
Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, VTCSM

Discovering molecules that protect synapses from the ravages of aging and age-related neurological diseases.

HG hormone fiber
muscle cell
muscle fiber