Dr. Scott Medler, PhD

Dr. Scott Medler, PhD
Dr. Scott Medler, PhD
Associate Professor (Chair)
Science Center 221/229

Ph.D., Louisiana State University

BS - Texas A&M
PhD - Louisiana State University
Postdoc - Colorado State University

Personal Website

Teaching Interests

Comparative Physiology, Comparative Anatomy, Muscle Biology, Human Biology

Research Interests

My focus is on the cellular and molecular organization of skeletal muscles and how these properties change in response to development, exercise, and other demands. The physiological properties of muscles are primarily derived from their cellular and molecular organization. All muscle work is based on muscle shortening, produced when myosin heavy chain motors bind to actin filaments and pull them. Yet within this common design, great diversity exists with respect to cellular organization and function. I am particularly interested in the organization of skeletal muscles from the standpoint of task-specific design, and the integration with organismal function. Muscles differ with respect to their specific assemblage of myofibrillar protein isoforms, including multiple isoforms of motor proteins (myosins) and of the regulatory proteins (tropomyosin and troponins I, T, and C) that function to switch the muscle on and off. Another important parameter is sarcomere width, because muscles with short sarcomeres contract with greater speed, while muscles with long sarcomeres generate more force. My research seeks to understand how these various parameters are matched with one another to create a specific muscle phenotype. Recent research demonstrates that single muscle fibers possess a continuum of phenotypes, suggesting that muscles have the capability to be ‘fine-tuned’ to produce a precise type of contractile output.