Variability in muscle structure influences function using multiscale models and experiments

Silvia Salinas Blemker (University of Virginia)
"Same but different: examining how variability in muscle structure influences function using multiscale models and experiments"
Plenary Lecture, Wednesday May 25th, 2022, 12:30-13:30, Chair: Katherine Crump

Abstract: Skeletal muscles are extraordinarily adapted motors that enable us to perform many important functions, from walking to sight to speech. Multiple key discoveries have revealed the fundamental relationships between muscle structure and mechanical function. However, how variability in muscle structure across the population leads to variability in function remains poorly understood, which limits the translation of the fundamental discoveries to the development of effective treatments for individual people. The goal of the Multi-Scale Muscle Mechanophysiology (“M3”) Lab’s research is to quantify the multi-scale mechanics of skeletal muscles through computational models and novel experimental methods to relate muscle structure, biology, and function. In this talk, I will describe the development and application of these methods to reveal role of variability in muscle structure and function in speech disorders, muscular dystrophies, and human performance.

Biosketch: Silvia Salinas Blemker is the Robert Thomson Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia. She leads the Multi-scale Muscle Mechanophysiology Lab, which develops multi-scale computational and experimental techniques to study skeletal muscle biomechanics and physiology. The lab explores a range of applications including speech disorders, vision impairments, aging, muscular dystrophies, and human performance. New projects include developing models that incorporate for sex-differences in musculoskeletal structure and simulating the effects of estrogen levels on muscle regeneration. Dr. Blemker is a co-founder of Springbok, a company commercializing image-based muscle analytics AI technology for many applications from muscle diseases to sports medicine.
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