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Spangenburg, Espen Eric Associate Professor


My research program is focused on understanding the endocrine-based regulation of physiological and metabolic function of skeletal muscle.  My lab employs an integrative experimental approach, in which we use cell culture and animal models to define mechanisms that we then work to translate to the human. Over the last three years, we have taken a more focused approach in our efforts to employ inducible tissue specific loss-of function mouse models.  Specifically, we have developed skeletal muscle specific-inducible BRCA1 knock out mice and the ability to ablate BRCA1 expression in cultured human myotubes through shRNA delivered via AV virus approach (presented in J Lipid Res paper). This integrative approach allows us to examine the same loss-of function approach using in vivo animal models and cultured myotubes from humans. Over the last few years, my lab has diligently worked towards advancing our ability to measure metabolic and physiological changes in cultured adult single muscle fibers, which we believe gives us a significant experimental advantage because it allows us to make reductionist based measures in a muscle cell that retains a true adult functional phenotype.  For example, we have recently developed and/or optimized approaches to measure mitochondrial function, deliver cDNA, image lipid droplets or other organelles, and employ co-culture approaches in these single muscle fibers.