Skeletal muscles – the muscles attached to bones by tendons – form the basis of all animal mobility. One of our lab's primary interests is the development and regeneration of the skeletal muscles. Specifically, we investigate the molecular signaling that regulate the stem cells that are responsible for forming muscles during development, and repairing muscles after injury. In addition, we are interested in other cells that interact with these muscle stem cells to improve their function. For example, fat cells (adipocytes) residing in the muscle have two key roles. Firstly, from a biological perspective, adipocytes regulate muscle stem cell function and contribute to overall muscle health. Secondly, from an agricultural perspective, adipocytes are instrumental to the quality traits of skeletal muscle-derived meat produce. As a result of the applications of our research to both human health and the animal production industry, our research has been funded by the NIH, USDA, and industry sponsors.