The Muscle Stress Physiology Lab studies skeletal muscle physiology. We are particularly interested in how muscles respond to stressful environments and how they interact with other organ systems during stress. Studies have involved responses to hypoxia, intermittent hypoxia, oxidant stress, hyperthermia, osmotic stress, infection and fatigue. We have developed a unique preclinical animal model of “exertional heat stroke” in mice where we are discovering new treatment and prevention strategies that we hope will benefit patients with heat illness. Other research involves the role of skeletal muscles in the integrated immunological responses to infection. We hypothesize that the immunological responses of healthy skeletal muscles are responsible for the observation that humans with a history of an active life style are resistant to most severe consequences of bacterial infection.

PI: Thomas Clanton, Ph.D.

Research Highlights
  • Development of the first preclinical model of exertional heat stroke in mice that resembles the clinical symptoms of humans.
  • Working with unique transgenic mouse models that were developed by our lab to discover the roll of immunological signaling in the body’s response to environmental stress and infection.
  • Working closely with investigators in the Medical School and Dental school to understand the role of exercise and muscle function in immunological host defense.
  • The Clanton lab is funded by the Department of Defense for its work in understanding the physiology of exertional heat stroke.