The Core Muscle Research Laboratory is equipped and staffed to provide blood and muscle tissue analysis in support of exercise studies conducted by Center for Exercise Medicine investigators. The laboratory occupies 3000 sq. ft. of space.

  • Our Core Muscle Research Lab Team

  • Our team efficiently processes and stores biospecimens such as skeletal muscle tissue, adipose tissue, and blood for a variety of downstream applications.

  • Following a skeletal muscle biopsy, a bundle of muscle cells (fibers) are prepared as a mount for later histological analysis in our laboratory.

  • Skeletal muscle specimens are cut cross-sectionally to allow analysis of muscle tissue characteristics (e.g., fiber type, blood vessels, satellite cells, and more).

  • Our high-resolution fluorescence microscopy system enables visualization of skeletal muscle tissue structures that dynamically change with perturbations such as exercise, disease, and aging.

  • Skeletal muscle samples can be prepared for numerous biochemical assays using a bead homogenizer that keeps samples cool and safe from contamination during processing.

  • Our laboratory has an extensive legacy of collecting and storing human biospecimens; our frozen samples are barcoded and supported by an electronically managed inventory system.

  • Ultra-low temperature storage in liquid nitrogen provides superior protection for our extensive biorepository of skeletal muscle stem cells.

Sample Analysis and Experimental Support Services

  • Fluorescence microscopy (upright and inverted) for immunohistology and immunocytology 

  • RT-PCR/in situ hybridization for mRNA assays 

  • Computational biology services (E.g. Transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics)

  • Cell and tissue culture studies including mechanical stretch to mimic exercise in vitro 

  • Protein immunoblotting and digital darkroom imaging 

  • Bioanalysis and interpretation for skeletal muscle genomic microarrays 

  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) 

  • Enzyme activities via spectrophotometry or fluorometry 

  • Long-term tissue and cell storage 

Clinical Research Services

The Core Muscle Research Laboratory maintains a procedure room in the Clinical Research Unit of the UAB NIH Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS). Core investigators conduct and process outpatient muscle biopsies and blood draws for numerous exercise studies. To request CMRL services, please fill out our request for services form here or contact our lab manager Alexis Dunning, MS at for more information. 

Physical location:
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Bevill Biomedical Research Building (BBRB) 360
845 19th Street South
Birmingham, AL 35294

Mailing address:
BBRB 342-15
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL  35294-2170