Director: Elisabeth Barton, PhD, University of Florida
Critical to the evaluation of potential therapeutics (pharmacological, gene, or cell therapies) are sensitive and repeatable physiological assessments of muscle function applied to mouse models of dystrophy. Therefore, we are proposing to continue a research core that performs ex vivo, in situ, and whole animal assessments of muscle integrity and function. This core will not only support the needs of the projects within the center, but will also serve as a national resource for performing functional evaluation of potential therapies for the muscular dystrophies. The Physiological Assessment Core resources are housed in the laboratory space designated to Dr. Barton, the Core Director. Dr. Barton is a muscle physiologist with extensive experience evaluating muscle function in mice. This includes all instrumentation for muscle physiological measurements, specialized equipment for hindlimb suspension experiments, documented free wheel running, and treadmill running, as well as interim storage of samples in both –80C and liquid nitrogen freezers. We propose to collaborate with neighboring colleagues to assess whole animal respiratory function, which will complement ex vivo assessment of the diaphragm.