Adams Awarded $2.4M NIH Grant

Dr. Christopher Adams, Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has received a five-year, $2.4M grant from the National Institutes of Health to study skeletal muscle atrophy. In preliminary studies, performed in mouse models, Dr. Adams and members of his lab have identified the first example of a protein that is required for the loss of skeletal muscle mass, quality, strength, and endurance exercise capacity during aging: the transcription factor ATF4.

Mice lacking ATF4 develop normally but are resistant to age-related muscle weakness and atrophy, suggesting a key role for the ATF4 pathway and an important target for further study. By investigating the role that ATF4 plays in this process, particularly whether reductions in ATF4 expression could reverse age-related changes in muscle mass and function, Dr. Adams hopes to both further understand the fundamental molecular mechanisms as well as identifying new therapeutic approaches for age-related muscle weakness and atrophy.