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Micah Drummond

Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pathology and of Nutrition and of Internal MedicineDrummond Photo

B.S. California Lutheran Unversity

Ph.D. Brigham Young University



Micah Drummond's Lab Page

Micah Drummond's PubMed Literature Search

Molecular Biology Program

Aging, Muscle, Inflammation, Exercise, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research


Aging is a process of physiological and functional decline accelerated by a physically inactive lifestyle. Physically inactive older adults are at risk for developing metabolic disease (insulin resistance, glucose intolerance) and loss of muscle mass resulting in a poor quality of life and loss of physical independence.

The research projects within the Drummond laboratory hold to two general research themes:

  1. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle growth and metabolic function in aging muscle.
  2. Utilizing therapeutic tools (nutritional, contractile analogs, pharmacological) to limit muscle and metabolic deficits that occur with physical inactivity in aged muscle.

The Drummond lab utilizes a host of molecular biology techniques and functional assays to further enhance the understanding of the mechanisms involved in metabolic dysfunction and muscle atrophy in aging skeletal muscle and in response to physical inactivity. Specific questions are addressed using mechanistic mouse models complemented with controlled physical inactivity experiments in older adults (bed rest). Clinical muscle samples are often paralleled with whole body measurements of physical mobility, muscle strength and size capitalizing on the resources of the skeletal muscle exercise research facility (SMERF) and the expertise of the SMERF investigators within the Department of Physical Therapy. We also utilize generous services from the University of Utah’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences ( to assist with our inpatient and outpatient older adult experiments and analysis. Dr. Drummond collaborates with investigators across the Health Sciences and College of Health many of whom are associated with the Diabetes and Obesity Metabolism Center.


  1. Reidy PT, Lindsay CC, McKenzie AI, Fry CS, Supiano MA, Marcus RL, LaStayo PC, Drummond MJ. Aging-related effects of bed rest followed by eccentric exercise rehabilitation on skeletal muscle macrophages and insulin sensitivity. Exp Gerontol. Jul 10. pii: S0531-5565(17)30263-2. 2017.

  2. Drummond MJ, Reidy PT, Baird LM, Dalley BK, Howard MT. Leucine Differentially Regulates Gene-Specific Translation in Mouse Skeletal Muscle. J Nutr. Jun 14. pii: jn251181. 2017.

  3. Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Brunker P, Nelson DS, Barrows KM, Supiano M, LaStayo PC, Drummond MJ. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Combined with Protein Ingestion Preserves Thigh Muscle Mass But Not Muscle Function in Healthy Older Adults During 5 Days of Bed Rest. Rejuvenation Res. 2017.

  4. Kwon OS, Nelson DS, Barrows KM, O'Connell RM, Drummond MJ. Intramyocellular ceramides and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration are partially regulated by Toll-like receptor 4 during hindlimb unloading. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 311: R879-R887. 2016.

  5. McKenzie AI, Briggs RA, Barrows KM, Nelson DS, Kwon OS, Hopkins PN, Higgins TF, Marcus RL, Drummond MJ. A pilot study examining the impact of exercise training on skeletal muscle genes related to the TLR signaling pathway in older adults following hip fracture recovery. J Appl Physiol (1985) 122: 68-75. 2017.

  6. Kwon OS, Tanner RE, Barrows KM, Runtsch M, Symons JD, Jalili T, Bikman BT, McClain DA, O’Connell RM, Drummond MJ. MyD88 regulates physical inactivity-induced skeletal muscle inflammation, ceramide biosynthesis signaling and glucose intolerance. Am J Physiol Endo Metab 309: E11-21, 2015. PMCID: PMC4490331
  7. Tanner RE, Brunker L, Agergaard J, Barrows K, Briggs R, Kwon O, Young L, Hopkins P, Volpi E, Marcus R, LaStayo P, Drummond MJ. Age-related differences in leg lean mass, protein synthesis and skeletal muscle markers of proteolysis after bed rest and exercise rehabilitation. J Physiol 593: 4259-4273. 2015.
  8. Drummond MJ, Addison A, Brunker L, Hopkins PN, McClain DA, LaStayo PC, Marcus RL. Down-regulation of E3 ubiquitin ligases and mitophagy-related genes in skeletal muscle of physically inactive, frail older women: A cross-sectional comparison. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 69: 1040-1048, 2014 PMCID: PMC4111292
  9. Thalacker-Mercer AE, Drummond MJ. Role of protein in inactive, hospitalized older adults. Acad Sci. 1328: 1-9, 2014.
  10. Drummond MJ, Timmerman KL, Markofski MM, Walker DK, Dickinson JM, Jamaluddin M, Brasier AR, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Short-term bed rest increases TLR4 and IL-6 expression in skeletal muscle of older adults. American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory and Integrative Physiology, 305: R216-23, 2013. PMCID: PMC3743002
  11. Drummond MJ, Dickinson JM, Fry CS, Walker DK, Gundermann DM, Reidy PT, Timmerman KL, Markofski MM, Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Bed rest impairs skeletal muscle mTORC1 signaling, amino acid transporter expression and protein synthesis in response to essential amino acid in older adults. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 302: E1113-22, 2012. PMCID: PMC3361979
  12. Drummond, MJ, Glynn EL, Fry CS, Timmerman KL, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. An increase in essential amino acid availability upregulates amino acid transporter expression in human skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 298: E1011-E1018, 2010. PMCID: PMC2867366
  13. Fry CS, Drummond MJ, Glynn EL, Dickinson JM, Gunderman DM, Timmerman KL, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Aging impairs contraction-induced human skeletal muscle mTORC1 signaling and protein synthesis. Skeletal Muscle. 1:11, 2011. PMCID: PMC3156634
  14. Drummond MJ, Fry CS, Glynn EL, Dreyer HC, Dhanani S, Timmerman KL, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Rapamycin administration in humans blocks the contraction-induced increase in skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Journal of Physiology, 587: 1535-1546, 2009. PMCID: PMC2678224
  15. Drummond MJ, Fry CS, Dreyer HC, Pennings B, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Skeletal muscle protein anabolic response to resistance exercise and essential amino acids is delayed with aging. J Appl Physiol, 104: 1452-61, 2008. PMCID: PMC2715298

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Last Updated: 10/1/20