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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
  • 2010-2014 - Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • 2014-present - Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Research Interests:

Our original work focused on skeletal muscle injury and changes to the sarcolemmal-associated proteins in skeletal muscle myofibers. Many of the changes induced by injury parallel the changes that occur with Duchene muscular dystrophy (DMD), a primary focus of the laboratory. We try to relate changes from cell and whole muscle levels to changes seen using non-invasive in vivo imaging. We are exploring treatments to address damage seen in animal dystrophic muscles (see image below). Manipulating such variables in damaged muscles and the corresponding novel imaging techniques to track them in vivo are both applicable to patients with DMD.

Lab Techniques and Equipment:

  • In vitro and in vivo skeletal muscle physiology
  • Immunocytochemistry and epifluorescent/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
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) to assess changes in damaged and/or diseased muscles
  • Finite element modeling and simulation to understand stress-strain distributions within muscle
  • Micro-CT; bone histomorphometry

Laboratory Personnel:


  • Shama Iyer, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
  • Ana Valencia, MS (PhD student)


  • Mariah Goodall, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
  • Stephen J.P. Pratt (PhD student)
  • Gloribel Le (medical student)
  • Tara Talaie (medical student)
  • Kathleen Twomey (medical student)
  • Camilo Vanegas (PhD student)
  • Jason Hammond, MD (orthopedic resident)

Grants & Contracts:


R01 AR059179 (NCE), 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.


See a complete list of Dr. Lovering's published work on PubMed.

Book Chapters

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. 2008

In Vivo Assessment of Muscle Contractility in Animal Studies. Methods in Molecular Biology, edited by Michael Kyba, in press. 2016