About our research

What is musculoskeletal biology?

The musculoskeletal system includes the skeleton (bones), muscles, tendons and joints. These tissue systems work together in numerous ways to help us move and make our bodies function. The health of each system depends on factors including diet, exercise, and hormone status.

What is biomechanics?

Biomechanics is the study of movement (including exercise or the lack of exercise) on organs in the body. Musculoskeletal biology studies the effects of movement and mechanics on bones, muscles, tendons and joint. In the case of muscle and bone, the amount of tissue present is directly effected by exercise. Athletes tend to have higher bone and muscle mass in their dominant arms, whereas astronauts lose bone mass in microgravity. The role of biomechanics in the musculoskeletal system has huge impacts on human health and disease.

What other factors effect the musculoskeletal system?

Numerous other factors effect bone and muscle health, including nutrition and hormone status. Changes in calcium uptake, Vitamin D, estrogen levels and other molecules alter both the amount of bone and muscle, as well as the ability of these tissues to function.

What does the Musculoskeletal Biomechanics and Cell Biology lab at Eckerd do?

The MBCB Lab at Eckerd focuses on the role of exercise, or lack of exercise, on signaling between bone and muscle. Using cell culture, we analyze changes in gene and protein expression in bone and muscle cells during increased or decreased mechanical loading. We especially focus on these effects in relation to hormone expression.