Exercise Science Program

Exercise Biology Lab

Principal Investigators

Frank Pizza


Frank Pizza, PhD

Our research focuses on the cellular and molecular processes that restores structure and function to skeletal muscle injured by physical activity and disease, and that facilitate muscle growth/hypertrophy after increased muscle use (e.g., resistance exercise). In particular, we seek to identify mechanisms through which components of the inflammatory response augment muscle repair/regeneration and muscle hypertrophy. Findings from our laboratory have identified a novel mechanism through which the inflammatory response regulates growth processes in skeletal muscle by demonstrating that adhesion molecules of the inflammatory response are critically important in restoring and enhancing the structure and function of skeletal muscle. Results from our studies will help define novel therapeutic targets that restore structure and function to injured muscles, and facilitate the maintenance and/or growth of skeletal muscle, particularly in older individuals and those with inflammatory muscle disease. 

McloughlinTom McLoughlin, PhD

Dr. McLoughlin’s research focuses upon the study of the molecular regulation of skeletal muscle growth and the maintenance of skeletal muscle mass associated with physical activity and inactivity.    Specifically, forkhead (FoxO) proteins constitute a sub-family of winged-helix transcription factors (i.e. FoxO1, FoxO3, and FoxO4) responsible for maintaining cell survival, growth, and metabolic regulation.   Currently, our research team is investigating the contribution of FoxO1 in regulating the interplay between skeletal muscle growth and metabolic flux using both cell culture and rodent models.  

Exercise Biology Laboratories
Exercise Biology Laboratories are on the first floor of the Health and Human Services Building located on the Main Campus of The University of Toledo.  The Exercise Biology Laboratories consist of two large analytical labs, an Animal Facility, a Cell Culture Lab, and a Microscopy Lab.  

Analytical Labs
The analytical labs contain the following major pieces of equipment:

    • Ultra-low temperature freezers
    • Tissue homogenizers (e.g., magnet bead homogenizer and cell sonicator)
    • Leica Cryostat
    • Microplate spectrophotometer
    • Gel electrophoresis units
    • Wet and semi-dry transfer units
    • LI-COR's Odyssey Infrared Imaging System
    • Applied Biosystem’s Real-time PCR System
Animal Facility 

The animal facility contains a cage washing room, a surgical suite, and housing areas. The surgical room contains computerized equipment for assessing contractile properties of rodent skeletal muscle in situ and in vitro, dissecting microscopes, necropsy table, scales, and surgical supplies. 

Cell Culture Lab
The Cell Culture Lab contains two biological class II safety cabinets, 
a Flex Cell Strain Unit, two CO2 incubators, a refrigerator, a freezer, a cytospin centrifuge, microscopes, an autoclave, and liquid nitrogen storage drawers.

Microscopy Lab

The Microscopy Room houses an Olympus IX-70 microscope equipped with phase contrast, Nomarski optics, epifluorescence, and a digital camera. The stage of the microscope is motorized and controlled by imaging software. When interfaced with an environmentally controlled incubation chamber, the microscope can be used for time lapse imaging of live cells

Last Updated: 8/15/19