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David Thomas, PhD
Structural Dynamics of Muscle Contraction
William F. Dietrich Professor of Structural Biology and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 Riverside Circle, Roanoke, VA 24016
Dr. Thomas uses site-directed spectroscopic probes to study the molecular dynamics of energy transduction in muscle health and disease. The principal goals of his laboratory are to understand the fundamental molecular motions and interactions that are responsible for cellular movement, to determine the molecular bases of muscle disorders, and to apply those insights to therapeutic design. The laboratory approaches these inquiries with a range of techniques beyond site-directed spectroscopy, including physiology, enzyme kinetics, molecular genetics, peptide synthesis, and computer simulation.
Although the laboratory’s research involves several types of muscle, it is also placing increasing focus on the heart. Its newest direction is to use the principles of structural biophysics to design new molecular therapies for heart failure.