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News 2008

  • Dr. Michael Ostap and Dr. Henry Shuman characterize myosin-I as a molecular tension sensor.
  • PMI researchers' nanotechnology efforts are highlighted in the June issue of Nature Methods. See article here.
     
  • Dr. Roberto Dominguez and coworkers have discovered that a protein called leiomodin (Lmod) promotes the assembly of an important heart muscle protein called actin. What’s more, Lmod directs the assembly of actin to form the pumping unit of the heart.
  • Dr. Sandy Levine leads investigation of causes of muscle atrophy in patients on mechanical ventilators.  Please see article in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Dr. Levine’s study shows that the combination of mechanical ventilation and diaphragm inactivity elicits marked atrophy of diaphragm muscle fibers.  These prominent decreases in diaphragm muscle fiber size would be expected to decrease the pressure generating capacity of the diaphragm by approximately 50%.  Therefore, it may explain the difficulty in breathing experienced by patients who have undergone prolonged mechanical ventilation and have difficulty breathing following removal from the ventilator.
     
  • Dr. Erika Holzbaur and Dr. Yale Goldman discover that proteins carrying chemical cargo in nerve cells react differently when exposed to the tau protein, which plays an important role in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Dr. Tejvir Khurana leads expedition to Mount Everest to study hypoxia.
 
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