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Richard M. Lovering

Richard M. Lovering Ph.D., P.T.

Academic Title: Associate Professor
Primary Appointment: Orthopaedics
Secondary Appointments: Anatomy and Neurobiology, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Physiology
Location: 100 Penn Street, AHB, Room 540
Phone: 410-706-2417
Fax: 410-706-0028

Personal History:


  • 1986 - B.S., Boston University (Physical Therapy)
  • 1994 - Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (American Physical Therapy Association)
  • 2003 - Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine (mentor: Dr. Patrick De Deyne)

Professional Experience

  • 2003-2005 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine (mentor: Dr. Robert Bloch)
  • 2005-2010 - Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • 2010-present - Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Lovering has received continuous funding from NIH for over 15 years. He has received additional funding from the International Society of Biomechanics, the American College of Sports Medicine, the NFL Charities and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Research Interests:

Our original work focused on skeletal muscle injury and changes to the sarcolemmal-associated proteins in skeletal muscle myofibers. Since the changes induced by injury parallel many of the changes that occur with muscular dystrophies, this has broadened the focus of my lab to include the study of muscular dystrophies. This includes trying to relate the changes seen at the cellular level to changes seen using non-invasive MR imaging and MR spectroscopy. Results of this critical comparison will be important as we seek more precise and reliable non-invasive measures to follow the temporal progression of the dystrophic process in patients, and novel therapies to treat acute muscle injury.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

  • In vitro and in vivo skeletal muscle electrophysiology
  • Immunocytochemistry and epiflurescent/confocal microscopy
  • Assays of membrane integrity (creatine kinase, Evans Blue Dye, reactive orange, etc)
  • Molecular techniques, such as qRT-PCR, viral transfection and recombinant DNA techniques
  • Protein techniques, such as Western blots and immunoprecipitations
  • Measurement of intracellular global and local calcium release (with Dr. Chris Ward, UMB)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) to assess changes in damaged an/or diseased muscles

  • Laboratory Personnel:

  • Mariah Goodall, PhD
  • Stephen J.P. Pratt

  • Grants & Contracts:


    R01 AR059179, PI: Lovering
    “Mechanisms of Force Loss in Injured and Dystrophic Skeletal Muscle”

    K01 AR053235, PI: Lovering
    “The Role of Intermediate Filaments in Skeletal Muscle Injury and Disease”


    MDA 4772, PI: Lovering
    Muscular Dystrophy Association
    “Sarcolemmal Recovery after Damage in Dystrophic Muscle”

    F32 HD047099, PI: Lovering
    “The Role of Cytokeratins in Skeletal Muscle Injury”

    Visiting Scholar Award, PI: Lovering
    American College of Sports Medicine
    Funding to examine the role of the intermediate filament, syncoilin, in skeletal muscle, with Dr. Kay Davies at the University of Oxford, England.

    International Society of Biomechanics, PI: Lovering
    Funding to perform research on microanatomy of upper extremity human muscles, with Dr. Ján Friden at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Sweden.


    Peer-Reviewed Journals

    Shah, S.B., Love, J.M., O’Neill, A., Lovering, R.M., Bloch, R.J. (2011) Influences of desmin and keratin 19 on passive biomechanical properties of mouse skeletal muscle. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, In Press, PMID in progress

    McMillan, A., Shi, D., Pratt, S.J.P., Lovering R.M. (2011) Diffusion tensor MRI to assess damage in healthy and dystrophic skeletal muscle after lengthening contractions. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, PMID in progress

    Dessem, D., Lovering R.M. (2011) Repeated muscle injury as a presumptive trigger for chronic masticatory muscle pain. Pain Research and Treatment, PMID: 22110928

    Dorsey, S.G., Lovering, R.M., Renn, C.L., Leitch, C.C., Liu, X., Tallon, L.J., et al. (2011) Genetic deletion of trkB.T1 increases neuromuscular function. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, In Press, PMID: 21865582

    Spangenburg, E.E., Pratt, S.J.P., Wohlers, L.M., Lovering, R.M. (2011) Use of BODIPY (493/503) to visualize intramuscular lipid droplets in skeletal muscle. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, PMID: 21960738

    Clark, B.B., Jaffe, D., Henn, F., Lovering, R.M. (2011) Evaluation and imaging of an untreated grade III hamstring tear. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 469(11): 3248-52, PMID: 21850562

    Roche, J.A., Ru, L.W., O’Neill, A. Lovering, R.M., Bloch, R.J. (2011) Unmasking potential intracellular roles for dysferlin through improved immunolabeling methods. Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry, 59(11): 964-975, PMID: 22043020

    DiPasquale, D.M., Bloch, R.J., Lovering R.M. (2011) Determinants of the repeated bout effect following lengthening contractions. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 90(10): 816-824, PMID: 21862912

    Yamaguchi, N., Prosser, B., Ghassemi, F., Xu, L., Pasek, D., Eu, J., Hernandez-Ochoa, E., Cannon, B., Wilder, P., Lovering, R.M., Weber, D., Melzer, W., Schneider, M.F. (2011) Modulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release in skeletal muscle expressing ryanodine receptor impaired in regulation by calmodulin and S100A1. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, May;300(5):C998-C1012, PMID: 21289290

    Lovering, R.M., Roche, J.A., Goodall, M.H., Clark, B.B., McMillan, A. (2011) “An in vivo rodent model of contraction-induced injury and non-invasive monitoring of recovery.” Journal of Visual Experimentation, 11(51), PMID: 21850562

    Lovering, R.M., O’Neill, A., Muriel, J.M., Prosser, B.L., Strong, J., Bloch R.J. (2011) Physiology, Structure, and Susceptibility to Injury of Skeletal Muscle in Mice Lacking Keratin 19-Based and Desmin-Based Intermediate Filaments. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, 300(4):C803-13, PMID: 21209367

    Prosser, B.L., Hernández-Ochoa, E.O., Lovering, R.M., Andronache, Z., Zimmer, D.B., Melzer, W., Schneider, M.F. (2010) s100a1 promotes action potential-initiated calcium release flux and force production in skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, 299(5):C891-902, PMID: 20686070

    Witkowski, S., Lovering, R.M., Spangenburg, E.E. (2010) High-frequency electrically stimulated skeletal muscle contractions increase p70(s6k) phosphorylation independent of known IGF-I sensitive signaling pathways. FEBS Letter, 584(13):2891-5, PMID: 20466004

    Roche, J.A., Lovering, R.M., Roche, R., Ru L.W., Reed P.W., Bloch, R.J. (2009) Extensive mononuclear infiltration and myogenesis characterize the recovery of dysferlin-null skeletal muscle from contraction-induced injuries. American Journal of Physiology – Cell Physiology, 298(2):C298-312, PMID: 22043020

    Lovering, R.M., McMillan, A.B. and Gullapalli, RP. (2009) Location of myofiber damage in skeletal muscle after lengthening contractions. Muscle Nerve, 40(4): 589-94. PMID: 19760787

    Lovering, R.M., Michaelson, L. and Ward, C.W. (2009) Malformed mdx myofibers have normal cytoskeletal architecture yet altered EC coupling and stress-induced Ca2+ signaling. Am J. Physiol Cell Physiol, 297(3): C571-80. PMID: 19605736

    Tang, W., Lovering, R.M., Roche, J.A., Bloch, R.J., Neerchal, N.K. and Tasch, U. (2009) Gait analysis of locomotory impairment in rats before and after neuromuscular injury. J. Neurosci Methods, 181(2): 249-56. PMID: 19433107

    Hammond, J.W., Hinton, R.Y., Curl, L.A., Muriel, J.M. and Lovering, R.M. (2009) Use of autologous platelet-rich plasma to treat muscle strain injuries. Am J. Sports Med, 37(6): 1135-42. PMID: 19282509

    Wohlers, L.M., Sweeney, S.M., Ward, C.W., Lovering R.M. and Spangenburg, E.E. (2009) Changes in contraction-induced phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase and mitogen-activated protein kinases in skeletal muscle after ovariectomy. J. Cell Biochem, 107(1): 171-8. PMID: 19259949

    Lovering, R.M. and Anderson, L.D. (2008) Architecture and fiber type of the pyramidalis muscle. Anatomical Scientific International, 83(4): 294-7. PMID: 19159363

    Lovering, R.M. and Russ, D.W. (2008) Fiber type composition of cadaveric human rotator cuff muscles. J. Orthop Sports Phys. Ther, 38(11): 674-80. PMID: 18978449

    Roche, J.A., Lovering, R.M. and Bloch, R.J. (2008) Impaired recovery of dysferlin-null skeletal muscle after contraction-induced injury in vivo. Neuroreport, 19(16): 1579-84. PMID: 18815587

    Stone, M.R., O'Neill, A, Lovering, R.M., Strong, J., Resneck, W.G., Reed, P.W., Toivola, D.M., Ursitti, J.A, Omary, M.B., and Bloch, R.J. (2007) Absence of keratin 19 in mice causes skeletal myopathy with mitochondrial and sarcolemmal reorganization. Journal of Cell Science, 120(Pt 22): 3999-4008. PMID: 17971417

    Koo, J., Smiley, M.A., Lovering, R.M., Margolis, F.L. (2007) Bex1 knock out mice show altered skeletal muscle regeneration. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 363(2): 405-410. PMID: 17884015

    McCullagh, K.A., Edwards, B., Poon, E., Lovering, R.M., Paulin, D. and Davies, K.E. (2007) Intermediate filament-like protein syncoilin in normal and myopathic striated muscle. Neuromuscular Disorders, 17(11-12): 970-9. PMID: 17629480

    Lovering, R.M., Roche, J.A., O’Neill, A., and Bloch R.J. (2007) Identification of skeletal muscle mutations in tail snips from neonatal mice using immunohistochemistry. Biotechechniques, 42(6):702-704. PMID: 17612291

    Lovering, R.M., Roche, J.A., Bloch, R.J., and De Deyne, P.G. (2007) Recovery of function in skeletal muscle following two different contraction-induced injuries. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 88(5):617-25. PMID: 17466731

    Lovering, R.M. and Anderson, L.D. (2006) Leptomeningeal plaques, a "common" finding. Clinical Anatomy, 19(8): 696-7. PMID: 16944533

    Russ, D.W. and Lovering, R.M. (2006) Influence of activation frequency on cellular signaling pathways during fatiguing contractions in rat skeletal muscle. Experimental Physiology, 91(6): 957-66. PMID: 16857718

    Lovering, R.M., Porter, N. and Bloch, R.J. (2005 Dec) The muscular dystrophies: from genes to therapy. Physical Therapy, 85(12):1372-88. PMID: 16305275

    Hakim, M., Hage, W., Lovering, R.M., Moorman, C.T., Curl, L.A. and De Deyne, P.G. (2005) Dexamethasone and recovery of contractile tension after a muscle injury. Clinical Orthopedics and Related Research, 439:235-242. PMID: 16205165

    Lovering, R.M., Hakim, M., Moorman, C.T. and De Deyne, P.G. (2004) The contribution of contractile pre-activation to loss of function after a single lengthening contraction. Journal of Biomechanics, 38:7, 1501-1507. PMID: 15922761

    Lovering, R.M. and Romani, W.A. (2005) Effect of testosterone on the female anterior cruciate ligament. American Journal of Physiology – Integrative & Comparative Physiology, 289(1):R15-22. PMID: 15790748

    Friden, J., Lovering, R.M. and Lieber, R.L. (2004) Fiber length variability within the flexor carpi ulnaris and flexor carpi radialis muscles: implications for surgical tendon transfer. Journal of Hand Surgery, 29(5) pp 909-914. PMID: 15465243

    Lovering, R.M. and De Deyne, P.G. (2004) Disruption of the sarcolemma and loss of dystrophin after an eccentric contraction-induced injury. American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology, 286: C230-238.

    Book Chapter

    Lovering, R.M. (2008) Physiotherapy in treating overuse and other muscle injuries. Skeletal Muscle Damage and Repair: Mechanisms and Interventions, edited by Peter Tiidus, Human Kinetics Inc., Champaign, IL, USA, pp. 219-230.