Lars Larsson, M.D., Ph.D. Professor and Chair at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden. He also holds a position as Adjunct Professor at the Department of Biobehavioral Health, the Pennsylvania State University.
The overall goal of the research in his group is to have a detailed understanding of the mechanisms underlying the impaired muscle function and muscle wasting associated with specific muscle diseases and aging. His basic laboratory and clinical research on skeletal muscle, for nearly 35 years, has focused on synthesis and degradation of myofibrillar proteins, and the regulation of contraction. In his laboratory, a range of methods, including combinations of molecular, cellular, biochemical and imaging techniques have been developed or adapted to study skeletal muscle at the whole muscle, motor unit, muscle cell and motor protein levels. The methods to study regulation of muscle contraction at the cell and motor protein levels are used in parallel in clinical research and in experimental animal studies. These methods are primarily used to unravel the mechanisms underlying the motor handicap and muscle wasting in patients with inherited and acquired muscle diseases affecting myofibrillar proteins. Several of the methods used are unique and the combinations of methods to study skeletal muscle in patients and in experimental animal models are unduplicated elsewhere in the world. Although there is a strong focus on studies of human skeletal muscle, complex experimental animal models always have been and continue to be an integral part in the combined basic and clinical research projects conducted in research group´s activities. The research is conducted in collaboration with numerous excellent research groups in the US, Europe, Australia and Japan.
The research is presently focusing on: 1. Aging-related posttranslational modifications of myofibrillar proteins and their effects on skeletal muscle structure and function, 2. Specific sarcomeric protein mutations, and 3. The muscle paralysis and muscle wasting in critically ill intensive care unit patients and the specific myopathy acquired in these patients, i.e., the Acute Qaudriplegic Myopathy (AQM).