Our research is focused on understanding how diseases cause muscle weakness, especially through loss of contractile function. Our primary interest is in heart failure, but we also collaborate with other research groups on campus to study weakness in cancer, sepsis, and patients undergoing surgery. Our goal is to identify therapeutic targets to counteract the loss of muscle function in using pharmacological interventions and exercise. We investigate basic mechanisms at cellular and molecular level and use a translational approach with studies in pre-clinical models and patients.

PI: Leonardo Ferreira, Ph.D.

Research Interests:
  • Conducted studies in animal muscle and human muscle biopsies
  • Assessment of contractile function in individual muscle cells (fibers) and intact muscle
  • Recent publications in Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Journal of Physiology, and American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
  • Funding from NIH, American Heart Association, and partnership with pharmaceutical companies to test novel therapies for muscle weakness