Susan V. Brooks, PhD

Christin Carter-Su Collegiate Professor of Physiology
Professor, Biomedical Engineering
Associate PhD Graduate Program Chair, Molecular & Integrative Physiology

2029 BSRB
109 Zina Pitcher Pl.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2002

(734) 936-2147

Biography

Dr. Brooks received her B.S.E. in Engineering Science from the University of Michigan and then pursued graduate studies in Biomedical Engineering also at the University of Michigan. Following postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Gerontology, she joined the faculty in Physiology. In addition to her primary appointment in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, she holds a joint appointment the Department of Biomedical Engineering. 

Areas of Interest

My research spans the organism, tissue, cellular and molecular levels and typically combines in vivo and in vitro approaches to investigate the impact of aging, exercise, disease, and changes in loading environment on structure-function relationships in skeletal muscle and tendon. A decrease with aging in muscle mass results from a loss of muscle fibers due to a loss of motor units.  In addition to the muscle atrophy, unexplained muscle weakness remains when force is normalized by muscle cross-sectional area. The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying muscle atrophy and weakness are studied in aging rodents. The mechanisms underlying differences in susceptibility to injury of muscles and tendons are also under active investigation.  Exercise-induced skeletal muscle injury is initiated by the mechanical disruption of the muscle fiber ultrastructure. The initial mechanical damage initiates a cascade of events including an inflammatory response and degeneration of the damaged fibers. Understanding the tissue, cellular, and molecular adaptations responsible for the protection from injury provided by exercise training, especially the role of inflammation in initiating protective adaptations, is of particular interest.

 

Honors & Awards

  • University of Michigan School of Medicine, Endowment for the Basic Sciences Teaching Award
  • Lydia Adams Dewitt Research Award
  • Brookdale Foundation National Fellowship
  • Cindy Yoder Research Award for Biology and Engineering

Credentials

  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1992

Published Articles or Reviews

Larkin L.M., Davis C.S., Robinson C. Kostrominova T., Van Remmen H., Richardson A., Feldman E.L., and Brooks S.V.  Skeletal muscle weakness due to deficiency of Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase is associated with loss of functional innervation. American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative, Comparative Physiology, 301:R1400-R1407, 2011.  PMCID: PMC3213934

Wood L.K., Arruda E.M., and Brooks S.V. Regional stiffening with aging in tibialis anterior tendons of mice occurs independent of changes in collagen fibril morphology. Journal of Applied Physiology, 111:999-1006, 2011.  PMCID: PMC3191794

Mendias C.L., Gumucio J.P., Bakhurin K.I., Lynch E.B., and Brooks S.V.  Physiological loading of tendons induces scleraxis expression in epitenon fibroblasts. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 30:606-612, 2012.  PMCID: PMC3245815