UMKC Muscle Biology Research Group

“Understanding the cellular mechanisms that contribute to aging-related muscle weakness is essential for the development of effective treatments and improved care for the elderly.”

Marco Brotto
MUBIG Program Coordinator

News and media

Brotto Skeletal Muscle Physiology Lab Helps to Immerse Local High School Students in Science Power Day

UMKC Muscle Biology and Bone Biology researchers. Members of the Brotto Skeletal Muscle Phyisology lab, one of the primary MUBIG labs operated by Dr. Marco Brotto BSN, Ph.D, and managed by Dr. Leticia Brotto, M.D., recently played a key role in Science Power Day, sponsored by the University of Missouri - Kansas City.

The event which took place on Saturday, October 9th, 2010, was coordinated by the UMKC Division of Diversity Access and Equity under the direction of Marji Datwyler. The day long event is one in a series of 6 events scheduled throughout the year that invites urban sophomore, junior, and senior high school students to UMKC for fun, hands-on activities designed to spark interest in sciences.

Through the efforts of the Brotto Lab, over 100 participating students were given the opportunity to see, first hand, concepts in research ranging from micro-dissections to micro-measurements to fluorescent cell imaging. In addition, students had the opportunity to perform hands on measurements using very precise, cutting edge technologies.

Muscle Biology Group Welcomes Dr. Eduardo Abreu

UMKC Muscle Biology and Bone Biology researchers. The UMKC Muscle Biology Group is honored to announce the arrival of Dr. Eduardo Abreu, M.D., D.Eng. Dr. Abreu brings to the group expertise in both tendons and ligaments, providing a vital link in our research. Dr. Abreu began his journey to UMKC by recieving his B.S. in physics from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. Abreu then, in 1986, was awarded his M.D. from the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Dr. Abreu went on to recieve his Masters of Science in biomedical engineering from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1991. In 1994, Dr. Abreu served as a Research Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation where he maintained his role through 2005, at which time he was awarded his Doctorate of Engineering in Applied Biomedical Engineering from Cleveland State University. From 2005 thru 2009 Dr. Abreu served as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in the Sports Medicine Lab at Children's Hospital of Boston. Most recently Dr. Abreu served as a Fellow in the Orthopedic Nanotechnology Lab at Bringham and Women's Hospital. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Eduardo Abreu to the UMKC Muscle Biology Group.

Muscle Biology Group Announces The Retirement of Dr. Tina Hines

UMKC Muscle Biology and Bone Biology researchers. On August 31st, 2010, Dr. Tina Hines, R.N., Ph.D., of the Muscle Biology Group will retire. Dr. Hines is a founding member and valued researcher who has served as Professor and Course Director of Anatomy and Physiology for undergraduates, Associate Dean for Research, and the UMKC School of Nursing Dale and Dorothy Thompson/Missouri Endowed Professor for Research. Dr. Tina Hines's retirement plans include relocation to the Dallas, Texas area where she will enjoy her retirement in the company of her extended family. Dr. Hines's hard work and dedication have made a definite impact upon us all and will forever be reflected in the work of the UMKC Muscle Biology Group.

Bone biology and muscle biology researchers awarded $1.1 million ‘Grand Opportunity’ grant

UMKC Muscle Biology and Bone Biology researchers.The National Institute of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases recently announced the awarding of a “Grand Opportunity” grant to the Bone Biology and Muscle Biology Groups at UMKC through the Center of Excellence in the Study of Dental and Musculoskeletal Tissues.
This $1.1 million award, titled Muscle-Bone Endocrine Axis, is the collaborative effort of Drs. Lynda Bonewald and Mark Johnson in the Bone Biology Group at the School of Dentistry and Drs. Marco Brotto, Michael Wacker and Jon Andresen in the Muscle Biology Group, Schools of Nursing and Medicine, and will focus on endocrine crosstalk between muscles and bones in health and disease.

 Musculoskeletal conditions, such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis are serious health threats among the elderly and are the major causes for debilitating injuries, loss of independence, and reduced quality of life, accounting for premature death in the elderly and an exorbitant socio-economical burden to society. The potential reciprocal consequences of these muscle and bone diseases are not known.

Current dogma assumes that the muscle-bone relationship is driven by mechanical factors, but the investigators propose that bone can act as an endocrine organ to control muscle physiology and disease. A reciprocal relationship may also exist between muscle and bone. Therefore disease in either organ may have negative repercussions on the reciprocal organ through systemic endocrine factors.

Knowledge gained from this award should lead to preventative and therapeutic intervention and treatment for musculoskeletal disease. Click here to read the UMKC news release.


2nd Annual Muscle Biology Group Symposium, August 2009

The UMKC Muscle Biology Group held its 2nd annual Muscle Biology Group Symposium on August 26, 2009, at the Diastole/Mary Clark and E. Grey Dimond Scholars' Center adjacent to the UMKC Hospital Hill campus in Kansas City. Sponsored by Fisher Scientific and hosted by MUBIG and the UMKC Schools of Nursing and Medicine, the symposium included a trade show and poster session. A highlight of the event was the keynote address, delivered by Ronald Terjung, PhD, Associate Dean of Research and Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia. The topic of Dr. Terjung's address was " Skeletal Muscle: Design/Function Relationships."


Click here to view event flyer.


Perspectives Magazine, Fall 2008

UMKC research group’s new super mouse won’t fight crime or injustice, but it will help combat diseases. Mighty mouse is a new animal model for muscle and metabolism research, and was recently developed by Richard Hanson and his colleagues at Case Western Reserve University. A collaborative team of researchers from the schools of Nursing and Medicine will be breeding and studying these mice at UMKC.

Click here to read the full story.

Open House, 2007-08 UMKC School of Nursing Annual Report

Mighty mouse is one of many new powerful mouse models being developed by the Muscle Biology Research Group (MUBIG), whose members envision important new discoveries of signaling pathways linked to decline in muscle function with aging, fatigue, obesity, diabetes, muscular dystrophies and cardiovascular diseases.

Click here to read the full story.

UM System video on Dr. Marco Brotto and MUBIG research.

Contact us

Marco Brotto, B.S.N., M.S., Ph.D.
MUBIG Program Director
UMKC School of Nursing
Health Science Building
2464 Charlotte Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-235-1959
Fax: 816-235-5515