Research aims to understand and treat muscle loss
Marco Brotto, the George W. and Hazel M. Jay Professor in the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, has a straightforward formula for research success.
"I have this motto that collaboration is better than competition,” says Dr. Brotto, who joined UTA in August 2015. “You need different expertise coming from different points of view to tackle complex health problems.”
Brotto’s leadership exploring muscle and bone physiology as it relates to conditions such as osteoporosis and sarcopenia, or the natural loss of muscle mass in aging, has garnered international recognition.
He’s won grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Abbott Nutrition, and Brazil’s major funding agencies, and he has published more than 90 studies in prestigious journals such as The Aging, Journal of Cell Biology, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and Nature Cell Biology.
Brotto also is director of Muscle and Bone Collaborative Sciences at UTA and director of the Ph.D. in Nursing program.
Research that changes lives by improving human health motivates Brotto and the seven members of his laboratory. One of their most notable projects is an $8.5 million National Institute on Aging grant with leading U.S. bone cell biologists.
The five-year project has already increased understanding of how bones release factors (lipids and proteins that work as local hormones) that influence muscles and vice versa, as well as other vital organs. Unraveling such basic biochemical interactions could go a long way toward helping the 1.7 billion people worldwide suffering from musculoskeletal disorders.
“If we can identify these factors, then we can target specific disease pathways, and maybe we can tailor better interventions,” says Brotto.
Marco Brotto, the George W. and Hazel M. Jay Professor of Nursing, is director of Bone and Muscle Collaborative Sciences.