Understanding mechanisms that underpin muscle development, growth, adaptation and plasticity

Currently unanswered questions include:

  • How do muscles form their shape and complexity during embryonic development?
  • What fundamental processes govern cell number?
  • How many muscle fibres are formed and how many precursor cells give rise to the formation of individual muscle fibres?
  • What processes determine variations in individual fibre size and functionality?
  • How do muscle fibres form, grow, adapt and remodel in response to genetic perturbations, nutritional changes and activity patterns?
  • What fundamental processes are altered with advancing age?

Another important and unresolved issue in skeletal muscle biology is to understand the role of the local metabolic environment in regulating muscle stem cell (MuSC) function during periods of muscle growth and development, adaptation and plasticity.

Research projects will identify how the local metabolic environment regulates MuSC identity and will reveal entirely new information about how muscles adapt to stimuli.

This research is crucial for advancing stem cell biology and harnessing the biological potential of stem cells for future applications like stem cell transplantation strategies for muscular diseases and muscle wasting conditions (thus relevant to Research Theme – Health).

Answering these questions will lead to significant biological discoveries and reinforce the Centre’s reputation for publishing fundamental research in the world’s most influential scientific journals.