Penn Medicine

Joseph B. Shrager, M.D.

Department of Surgery

Contact Information

Department of Surgery
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6086
Phone: (215) 662-4767
Fax: (215) 349-5798


Research Interests

respiratory muscle, its adaptation to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and the surgical treatment of COPD; the human myosin heavy chain (MHC) gene locus and its regulation, Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and the physiologic role of dystrophin.

Research Summary

Past work of this investigator has included elucidation of the role of dystrophin in stabilization of the muscle cell membrane and participating in the creation of a high resolution map of the human MHC locus on chromosome 17. The current area of focus, corresponding with Dr. Shrager's clinical role as a thoracic surgeon, is adaptation of respiratory muscle to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and an experimental operation for this condition called Lung Volume Reduction Surgery (LVRS). Using both human tissue and tissue from an experimental model of COPD and LVRS, alterations in MHC isoform expression are being examined at the molecular and protein levels. In addition, physiologic changes in the respiratory muscles are being explored before and after LVRS to try to understand the basis for the beneficial effect of this procedure.

Representative Publications

  1. Stedman, H., J. Shrager, M. Tewari, E. Jullian, and N. Rubinstein. Structure and evolutionary history of the human sarcomeric myosin heavy chain gene family. J. Cell Biochem, 1994. 18D:491.
  2. Shrager, J.B. , Naji, A., Kelly, A.M., and Stedman, H.H. A PCR-based assay for the wild-type dystrophin gene transferred into the mdx mouse. Muscle and Nerve, 1992. 15:1133-7.
  3. Petrof, B., Shrager, J.B., Stedman, H.H., Kelly, A.M., and Sweeney, H.L. Dystrophin protects the sarcolemma from stresses developed during muscle contraction. Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 1993. 90:3710-4.
  4. Shrager, J.B., Friedberg, J.S., and Kaiser, L.R. Lung Volume Reduction Surgery. Sem Resp Crit Care Med., 1998. In Press.
Pennsylvania Muscle Institute
Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania
Director: E. Michael Ostap, Ph.D.

700A Clinical Research Building Philadelphia, PA 19104-6085 Phone: (215) 573-9758 Fax: (215) 898-2653