Discovering Curiosity: Fighting Neuromuscular Disorders with New Faculty Lucas Smith

In his new lab at UC Davis, Assistant Professor Lucas Smith hopes to develop therapies that alleviate neuromuscular disorders and restore healthy muscle regeneration.
In his new lab at UC Davis, Assistant Professor Lucas Smith hopes to develop therapies that alleviate neuromuscular disorders and restore healthy muscle regeneration. David Slipher/UC Davis

In debilitating neuromuscular disorders, like muscular dystrophies and cerebral palsy, the body’s muscles scar, turning fibrotic and stiff. “What’s not really understood is how the scar tissue ends up making such a stiff muscle,” said Assistant Professor Lucas Smith, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. “For us, it might take intense exercise or resistance training to cause a bit of damage, which elicits a regenerative response. In dystrophic conditions, just typical muscle contractions can damage the muscle and that chronic injury leads to fibrosis.”

Read the full story to learn more about Lucas Smith's research