Skeletal muscle is a hub for metabolic health, physical function and quality of life. The Muscle Physiology and Metabolism Laboratory of Ian R. Lanza, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, is focused on understanding how skeletal muscle can be leveraged as a therapeutic target to lessen the burden of such chronic diseases as type 2 diabetes, cancer cachexia and sarcopenia of aging.
Skeletal muscle is of particular interest to Dr. Lanza because it's critical to health and quality of life. Beyond allowing us to navigate our environment and live independently, muscle is important to metabolic health through influence on glucose homeostasis, redox balance and whole-body energy metabolism. Skeletal muscle influences other tissues through the release of myokines and extracellular vesicles.
Dysfunctional skeletal muscle is a hallmark of many chronic diseases, including diabetes, sarcopenia, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Strategies to maintain or enhance skeletal muscle health can improve outcomes and reduce disease burden. Exercise has long been recognized as an effective and economical therapeutic approach.
A major goal of the research in Dr. Lanza's lab is to gain new insights into the molecular events that either promote or interfere with adaptive responses to exercise.
Research in Dr. Lanza's Muscle Physiology and Metabolism Laboratory involves translational mechanistic studies in humans along with mechanistic preclinical studies. An area of particular interest is the impact of such lifestyle interventions as exercise and nutrition on skeletal muscle function, energy metabolism and adaptations to exercise. Our lab uses a combination of in vivo and ex vivo approaches to study various aspects of human physiology.