|Previous portrait||Dr. Silvia Salinas-Blemker
Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
School of Engineering & Applied Science
HOW DOES MUSCLE FORM DICTATE MUSCLE FUNCTION?I am fascinated by the central question of how skeletal muscle form dictates its function. I am also motivated to make an impact on clinical care. My lab (called the “Multi-scale Muscle Mechanophysiology Lab” http://www.bme.virginia.edu/muscle/) is well known for creating highly accurate computer simulations of skeletal muscle, making use of a variety of state-of-the-art imaging techniques to study muscle structure and function in vivo. We are applying these techniques to a range of clinical problems that involve some form of muscle pathology or dysfunction, including speech disorders, movement disorders, vision impairments, muscle atrophy in space, aging, and muscular dystrophies. While my research is grounded in biomechanics, it strongly draws from many other fields, including biology, muscle physiology, biomedical computation, continuum mechanics, imaging, and a variety of clinical fields.My research to date has made a significant impact on our current understanding of muscle form and function, which has led to several follow-on studies and applications. In my research program, we have broadened our approach to studying muscle form and function to incorporate more complex physiological processes, and we have expanded the scope of our work to several exciting and different clinical applications.My fascination with muscle biology and mechanics and the freedom to explore research questions with ‘out-of-the-box’ creative thinking are what keep me excited about my research. This fascination is further fueled with the fact that the research I do has the potential to ultimately positively impact peoples’ lives.
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