Our laboratory is focused on skeletal muscle atrophy. Although skeletal muscle atrophy is very common and serious, its molecular mechanisms are complex and not well understood, and a pharmacologic therapy does not exist. To better understand mechanisms of muscle atrophy, we are investigating stress-induced mechanisms that alter skeletal muscle gene expression and promote muscle atrophy. We are also searching for a therapy for muscle atrophy. To this end, we recently determined mRNA expression signatures of human skeletal muscle atrophy, and we used these signatures to discover several small molecules that inhibit muscle atrophy in mice. We are now pursuing these small molecules as potential therapeutic agents for humans.
Christopher M. Adams, MD, PhD