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News and Events


The Lindstrom Lab demonstrates efficacy for vaccine for myasthenia gravis.  See press release HERE

Dr. Ekaterina Grishchuk is the 2014 recipient of Michael S. Brown New Investigator Research Award.  Congratulations Katya!

Please read the Penn Medicine press release regarding the Pennsylvania Muscle Institute's NIH PO1 HERE

Congratulations to the PMI team of Ostap, Dominguez, Goldman, Holzbaur, and Shuman for receiving a renewal of their NIH PO1!

Congratulations to Ryan Jamiolkowski (Goldman Lab) for receiving a Ruth L. Kirschstein Award (F30) from NIH.

The Dominguez Lab determines how actin filaments are capped in muscle fibers. See Article in Science HERE

Sandra Maday in the Holzbaur Lab resolves crucial steps in autophagosome biogenesis. HERE

Congratulations to Michael Greenberg (Ostap Lab) for receiving a prestigious Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) award from NIH/NHLBI.

Meredith Wilson (Holzbaur Lab) wins award for best poster by a graduate student at the Gordon Research Conference on Muscle & Molecular Motors.  This prestigious award was sponsored by the Lymn Foundation HERE Meredith is a former PMI T32 trainee.

Congratulations to Dr. Erika Holzbaur for receiving the Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences from NINDS!

Congratulations to Dr. Elisabeth Barton for receiving the Basic Sciences Teaching Award from Penn Dental Medicine.  Details HERE

Dr. Jonathan Epstein and a picture of Dr. Vivienne Ho (PMI T32 trainee) highlighted in Phila. Inquirer article regarding CRISPR technology. HERE

Congratulations to Dr. Meng-meng Fu (Holzbaur Lab), this year's winner of the Saul Winegrad Award for Outstanding Thesis in the Neurosciences.

The Dominguez Lab (including former PMI T32 trainee, David Kast) identify a structural mechanism for the regulation of plasma membrane shape. HERE

The Stedman Lab (including former PMI T32 trainee, Andy Mead) investigates the pathobiology of respiratory functional decline in a model system for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. HERE

Congratulations to Michael Woody (Ostap/Goldman Lab) for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Franklin Medal Symposium HERE

PMI Labs collaborate to solve the high-resolution structure of a tension-sensing molecular motor.  See abstract HERE and movie HERE

Dominguez Lab solves the atomic structure of a key protein complex required for cell motility. and movieSee article and movie HERE.

The Weisel lab discovers that red blood cells change their shape to facilitate blood clotting.  See their work featured on the NIH websiteHEREand see the abstract HERE

Congratulations to Sarah Rooney(Soslowsky Lab) for winning a poster award at the Penn Bioengineering Grad Group Symposium.  Sarah is sponsored by the PMI training program, and the title of her poster was, “Exercise Protocol Induces Muscle, Tendon, and Bone Adaptations in the Rat Shoulder.”


The Khurana and Lamitina Labs identify a role for Dysferlin in the regulation of cholinergic signaling.  See abstract HERE

The Tran Lab discovers new roles for molecular motors in regulating chromosome segregation.  See abstract HERE

Dr. Grishchuk’s
lab characterizes motor crucial for correcting position of misaligned chromosomes.  See article in Nature Cell Biology HERE

Congratulations to Michael Woody (Ostap & Goldman Labs) for winning the 2013 Raiziss Award for academic excellence.

Congratulations to Meng-meng Fu (Holzbaur Lab) and Steven Jones (Svitkina Lab) for winning the PMI Poster Competition.

Thanks to all who participated in the PMI Retreat and Symposium

Force Sensing: Mechanobiology from Molecules to Tissues. Click Here for the symposium schedule.  The honorary lecturers at the symposium were as follows:

Andrew P. Somlyo Honorary Lectures

Jay T. Groves, Ph.D. - Prof. of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley 
"The mechanics of signal transduction in cell membranes down to the single molecule level" 

Ekaterina L. Grishchuk, Ph.D. – Assist. Prof. of Physiology, University of Pennsylvania
“Ring coupler for a microtubule depolymerization motor”

Martin A. Schwartz, Ph.D. - R.W. Berliner Prof. of Medicine and Prof. of Cell Biology, Yale University
Mechanisms of fluid shear stress sensing by endothelial cells

Robert L. Mauck, Ph.D. - Assoc. Prof. of Orthopaedic Surgery & Bioengineering, Univ. of Penn
"Dynamic alterations in stem cell nuclear structure and mechanobiology with mechanical perturbation"

 Robert E. Davies Honorary Lectures

Paul A. Janmey, Ph.D. –
Prof. of Physiology and Prof. of Bioengineering, University of Pennsylvania
“Effects of hyaluronic acid on integrin-mediated mechanotransduction”

Benjamin L. Prosser, Ph.D. – Assist. Prof. of Physiology, University of Maryland
"Pulling on the heart strings: mechano-chemo transduction in heart"
Christopher R. Jacobs, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering 
Columbia University
"The mechanobiology and biomechanics of primary cilia"


Dr. Dennis Discher's lab discovers link between lamin-A and stem cell differentiation.  See article in Science here HERE and Penn press release HERE

Hear Dr. H. Lee Sweeney interviewed about muscle-enhancing drugs on National Public Radio HERE

Dr. Wei Guo and other PMI labs find an important link between cell motility and membrane structure.  See Penn press release HERE, and the complete article HERE.

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Zajac on receiving her Ph.D. under Dr. Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D. and Dr. Michael Ostap, Ph.D., Pennsylvania Muscle Institute

Dr. Michael Ostap is the featured Biophysical Journal Editor.  Scroll down to see interview. HERE

Validation of multicenter protocol examining imaging of DMD patients. HERE

Dr. Dominguez's Lab shows how Rickettsia hijacks the actin cytoskeleton. HERE

PMI Labs show how molecular motors move growth factors in living cells. HERE

Dr. Grischchuk measures the force of microtubule depolymerization HERE

See Dr. Discher's Science article on Nanoparticle Delivery HERE

See the recent Penn News article highlighting recent work from Dr. Yale E. Goldman’s Lab HERE

Goldman Biophysical Journal cover Mar 13

Congratulations to the winners of the 2013 PMI Symposium Poster Competition- Adam Zwolak, PhD and Stephen Norris

2013 PMI Retreat and Symposium
Cytoskeletal Regulation

February 1, 2013

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  • Congratulations to Dr. Jacob Lazarus for receiving his Ph.D. under Erika Holzbaur, Ph.D., Pennsylvania Muscle Institute!

  • We note with deep regret the passing of Prof. Annemarie Weber, a treasured and generous colleague and a pioneer in the field of muscle research. Click here to read about Dr. Weber’s scientific contributions.

  • Congratulations to Betsy Buechler for receiving a pre-doctoral fellowhip from the American Heart Association

  • Congratulations to Tali Dadosh and Anatoly Zaytsev for receiving poster presentation awards at the PMI/NBIC Symposium.

  • Thanks to all who participated in the 2012 PMI/NBIC Symposium. Click here for Symposium schedule.

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  • Congratulations to Dr. Jennine Dawicki McKenna for receiving her Ph.D. under E. Michael Ostap, Ph.D., Pennsylvania Muscle Institute!

  • Congratulations to Dr. Dennis Discher for being named the Robert D. Bent Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Details here.

  • Thanks to all who participated in the 2011 PMI/Wellstone Mini Symposium. Click here for Symposium schedule.

  • Thanks to all who participated in the 2011 PMI/IDOM Muscle and Metabolism Retreat and Symposium. Click here for the symposium schedule. The honorary lecturers at the symposium were as follows:
  • Robert E. Davies Honorary Lectures
    Joseph A. Baur, Ph.D.
    Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
    Mimicking Caloric Restriction in Muscle

    Alfred L. Goldberg, Ph.D
    Harvard University
    Molecular Mechanisms of Muscle Atrophy

    H. Lee Sweeney
    Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
    Myostatin and IGF-I Interactions and Implications for Treating both Muscular Dystrophies and Sarcopenia

    Andrew P. Somlyo Honorary Lectures
    Elisabeth R. Barton, Ph.D.
    University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine
    Importance of Muscle IGF-I for Organismal Growth

    Vittorio Sartorelli, M.D.
    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health
    Epigenetics of Skeletal Myogenesis

    Deborah M. Muoio, Ph.D.
    Duke University Medical Center
    Mitochondrial Stress and Insulin Action in Muscle

  • Congratulations to Dr. Clara Franzini-Armstrong for her election to the Accademia dei Lincei, which is a premier Italian academy of science, founded in 1603. The academy has a rich history, including counting Galileo Galilei as a member. The academy published Galileo’s works and supported him throughout his disputes with the church. Giovanni Faber, who coined the name “microscope,” was also a member, as well as noted mineralogist Marco Franzini (Clara’s twin brother for whom the mineral Franzinite was named). Dr. Franzini-Armstrong is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences (USA) and the Royal Society (UK).

  • New work from Dr. Tejvir Khurana’s laboratory has identified a gene that negatively regulates muscle endurance. The first author of this paper is Dr. Emidio Pistilli, an alumnus of our T32-supported training program in Muscle Biology and Muscle Disease. See Penn press release here, comment in Science here, and the complete paper here.

  • Congratulations to Meredith Wilson (Holzbaur Laboratory) and Dr. David Kast (Dominguez Laboratory) for being appointed to the PMI training grant.

  • See article in The Scientist featuring work from the Goldman and Holzbaur Labs, here.

  • Congratulations to Dr. Roman Gorelik for receiving his Ph.D. under Dr. Tatyana Svitkina, Department of Biology. "Actin-independent mechanisms of targeting formin mDia2 to the plasma membrane"

  • Congratulations to Dr. John Lewis for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis, “Examining the coupling of the mechanical and chemical functions of myosin family members using single molecule and bulk solution techniques.” John was advised by Dr. Yale E. Goldman/Dr. E. Michael Ostap. and was a member of the Cell and Molecular Biology Graduate program.

  • See highlights of Dr. Erfei Bi’s exciting new study on the role of myosin in cell division here, and see the complete paper here.
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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