Division for Research Development
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SA Research Chair in Integrative Skeletal Muscle Physiology, Biology and Biotechnology

This Chair, held by Prof Kathy Myburgh and situated in the Department of Physiological Sciences, aims to close the gap between an in-depth understanding of the biological effects of trauma and disease on skeletal muscle cells and the well-known ability of muscle to gain strength and regenerate from injury. Postgraduate students and postdoctoral fellows study these aspects of skeletal muscle at three complementary levels: whole body physiology (real humans), cellular and molecular biology (tissue and cells in culture dishes), and biotechnology (manipulation of regeneration). This multi-layered combination of expertise is unique in South Africa and uncommon worldwide. Specific uncommon aspects include the harvesting, visualisation, and manipulation of nanosized vesicles produced by muscle cells as well as harvesting, expanding and characterising primary muscle cells obtained from human biopsy samples. Nanosized vesicles contain cargo that could be used as biomarkers in health and disease settings. Primary myoblasts could lay the foundation for personalised analysis of regenerative capacity, thus enhancing a return to well-being.​

user.pngProf Kathy Myburgh