Skip to main content

Robert J. Bloch, PhD

Academic Title:

Professor

Primary Appointment:

Physiology

Secondary Appointment(s):

Orthopaedics

Location:

HSF-I, 580C

Phone (Primary):

(410) 706-3020

Fax:

(410) 706-8341

Education and Training

1967: A.B., Columbia University, Biological Sciences
1972: Ph.D., Harvard University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
1990-present: Professor, with tenure, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, M
2013-present: Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
2007-2010: System Affiliate Professor, Medical Biotechnology Center, University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute
1989-1990: Ernma and Jacob Michael Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical Immunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
1985-1990: Associate Professor, with tenure, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
1980-1985: Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD
1976-1980: Research Associate, Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute, San Diego, CA
1972-1976: Postdoctoral Fellow, Biozentrum der Universitaet, Basel, Switzerland
1967-1972: Graduate Student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program, Harvard University
1967: A.B., Columbia University, Biological Sciences
1972: Ph.D., Harvard University, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Highlighted Publications

Lukyanenko V, Muriel J and Bloch RJ (2017) Coupling of excitation to Ca2+ release is modulated by dysferlin. J. Physiol., 2017 Aug 1;595(15):5191-5207. Epub 2017 Jun 26.  PMCID: PMC5538227

Desmond PF, Labuza A, Muriel J, Markwardt ML, Mancini AE, Rizzo MA and Bloch RJ  (2017) Interactions between small ankyrin 1 and sarcolipin coordinately regulate activity of the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA1). J. Biol. Chem. 292, 10961-10972. PMCID: PMC5491780

Moorer MC, Buo AM, Garcia-Pelagio K, Stains JP and Bloch RJ  (2016) Deficiency of the intermediate filament synemin reduces bone mass in vivo. Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 311, C839-C845.  PMCID: PMC5206296

García-Pelagio KP, Muriel J, O'Neill A, Desmond PF, Lovering RM, Lund L, Bond M, Bloch RJ.  (2015) Myopathic changes in murine skeletal muscle lacking synemin.  Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 Mar 15;308(6):C448-62. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00331.2014. Epub 2015 Jan 7. PMCID: PMC4360028

Roche JA, Tulapurkar ME, Mueller AL, van Rooijen N, Hasday JD, Lovering RM, Bloch RJ.  (2015)  Myofiber damage precedes macrophage infiltration after in vivo injury in dysferlin-deficient A/J mouse skeletal muscle.  Am J Pathol. 2015 Jun;185(6):1686-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.02.020. Epub 2015 Apr 25. PMCID: PMC4450316

Desmond PF, Muriel J, Markwardt ML, Rizzo MA, Bloch RJ. (2015)  Identification of Small Ankyrin 1 as a Novel Sarco(endo)plasmic Reticulum Ca2+-ATPase 1 (SERCA1) Regulatory Protein in Skeletal Muscle.  J Biol Chem. 2015 Nov 13;290(46):27854-67. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.676585. Epub 2015 Sep 24. PMCID: PMC4646913

Sakellariou P, O'Neill A, Mueller AL, Stadler G, Wright WE, Roche JA, Bloch RJ.  (2015).  Neuromuscular electrical stimulation promotes development in mice of mature human muscle from immortalized human myoblasts.  Skelet Muscle. 2016 Feb 27;6:4. doi: 10.1186/s13395-016-0078-6. eCollection 2015.  PMCID: PMC4769538

García-Pelagio KP, Muriel J, O'Neill A, Desmond PF, Lovering RM, Lund L, Bond M, Bloch RJ.  Myopathic changes in murine skeletal muscle lacking synemin.  Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2015 Mar 15;308(6):C448-62. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00331.2014. Epub 2015 Jan 7.  PMID:25567810

Additional Publication Citations

Porter, G.A., Dmytrenko, G.M., Winkelmann, J.C. and Bloch, R.J. (1992) Dystrophin Colocalizes with Beta-Spectrin in Distinct Subsarcolemmal Domains in Mammalian Skeletal MuscleJ. Cell Biol. 117:997-1005.

Luther, P.W., Samuelsson, S.J., BlochR.J. and Pumplin, D.W. (1996) Rotary Replication of the Neuromuscular Junction: Structures Associated with the Cytoplasmic Surface of Postjunctional Sarcolemma. J. Neurocytol. 25:417-427.

Porter, G.A., Scher, M.G., Resneck, W.G., Porter, N.C., Fowler, V. and Bloch, R.J. (1997) Two Populations of Beta-Spectrin in Rat Skeletal MuscleCell Motil. Cytoskel. 37:7-19.

Zhou, D., Birkenmeier, C.S., Williams, M., Sharp, J.J., Barker, J.E. and Bloch, R.J. (1997) Small, Membrane-bound, Alternatively Spliced Forms of Ankyrin 1 Associated with the Sarcoplasmic Reticulum of Mammalian Skeletal MuscleJ.Cell Biol. 136:621-631.

De Deyne, P., O'Neill, A., Resneck, W.G., Dmytrenko, G.M., Pumplin, D.W. and Bloch, R.J. (1998) Vitronectin Receptor Associated with Clathrin-Coated Membrane Domains through the Cytoplasmic Sequence of the Alpha-5 SubunitJ. Cell Sci. 111:2729-2740.

Bezakova, G. and Bloch, R.J. (1998) The Zinc Finger Domain of the 43K Receptor-Associated Protein, Rapsyn: Role in Acetylcholine Receptor ClusteringMolec. Cell. Neurosci. 11:274-288.

Zhou, D., Ursitti, J.A. and Bloch, R.J. (1998) Developmental Expression of Spectrins in Rat Skeletal MuscleMolec. Biol. Cell 9:47-61.

Williams, M.W. and Bloch, R.J. (1999) Extensive but Coordinated Reorganization of the Membrane Skeleton in Myofibers of Dystrophic (mdx) MiceJ. Cell Biol. 144:1259-1270.  

Ursitti, J.A., Martin, L.A., Chaney, T., Zielke, C., Alger, B.E. and Bloch, R.J. (2001) Spectrin Expression and Localization in the Developing Hippocampus of the Rat. Devel. Brain Res. 129:81-93.

Williams, M.W., Resneck, W.G., Kaysser, T., Ursitti, J.A., Birkenmeier, C.S., Barker, J.E. and Bloch, R.J. (2001) Na,K-ATPase in Skeletal Muscle: Two Populations of Beta-Spectrin Control Localization in the Sarcolemma but not Partitioning Between the Sarcolemma and the Transverse Tubules J. Cell Sci. 114:751-762.

O'Neill, A., Williams, M.W., Resneck, W.G., Milner, D.J., Capetanaki, Y. and Bloch, R.J. (2002) Sarcolemmal Reorganization in Skeletal Muscle Lacking Desmin: Evidence for Cytokeratins Associated with the Membrane Skeleton at CostameresMolec. Biol. Cell 13: 2347-2359.

Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, A., and Bloch, R.J. (2003) The Hydrophilic Domain of Small Ankyrin 1 Interacts with the Two NH2-terminal Immunoglobulin Domains of TitinJ. Biol. Chem. 238: 3985-3991

Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, A., Jones, E.M., Van Rossum, D.B. and Bloch, R.J. (2003) Obscurin is a Ligand for Small Ankyrin 1 in Skeletal MuscleMolec. Biol. Cell 14: 1138-1148.

Antolik, C., De Deyne, P. and Bloch, R.J. (2003). Biolistic Transfection of Myotubes in CultureScience STKE 2003, pl 11.

Lencesova, L., O’Neill, A., Resneck, W.G., BlochR.J. and Blaustein, M.P. (2003) Plasma Membrane-Cytoskeleton-Endoplasmic Reticulum Complexes in Neurons and AstrocytesJ. Biol. Chem. 279:2885-2893.

Ursitti, J.A., McNally, M., O’Neill, A., Resneck, W.G. and Bloch, R.J. (2004). Cloning and Characterization of Cytokeratins 8 and 19 in Adult Rat Striated Muscle. J. Biol. Chem. 279(40):41830-41838.

Reed, P. and Bloch, R.J. (2004) The Sarcolemma in the Largemyd MouseMuscle & Nerve. 30:585-595 

Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, A., Catino, D.C., Randall, W.R. and Bloch, R.J. (2004) Obscurin Regulates the Organization of Myosin into A-Bands Am. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol.  287:C209-C217

Borzok, M.A., D.H. Catino, J.D. Nicholson, A. Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos and R.J. Bloch (2007) Mapping the Binding Site on Small Ankyrin 1 for ObscurinJ. Biol. Chem. 282, 32384-32396.

Reed, P.W., A.M. Corse, N.C. Porter, K.M. Flanigan and R.J. Bloch (2007) Abnormal expression of mu-crystallin in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophyExptl. Neurol. 205, 583-586.

Stone, M.R., A. O'Neill, R.M. Lovering, P.W. Reed, J. Strong, W.G. Resneck, P.C. Lee, D.M. Toivola, J.A. Ursitti, M.B. Omary and R. J. Bloch (2007) Absence of Keratin 19 in Mice Causes Skeletal Myopathy with Mitochondrial and Sarcolemmal ReorganizationJ. Cell Sci. 120, 3999-4008.

Bowman, A.L., D. Catino, W.R. Randall, A. Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos and R.J. Bloch (2008) The Rho-GEF Domain of Obscurin Binds to RanBP9 and Regulates Assembly of Titin at the Z-lineMol. Biol. Cell 19:3782-3792  PMCID: PMC2526693

Roche, J.A., R.M. Lovering and R.J. Bloch (2008) Impaired recovery of dysferlin-null skeletal muscle after contraction-induced injury in vivoNeuroReport 19:1579-1584. PMCID: PMC2662728

Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, A., M.A. Ackerman, A.L. Bowman, S.L. Yap and R.J. Bloch (2009) Muscle Giants: Molecular Scaffolds in SarcomerogenesisPhysiol. Rev. 89:1217-1267. PMCID: PMC3076733

Ford-Speelman, D.L., A.L. Bowman, and R.J. Bloch (2009) The RhoGEF Domain of Obscurin Activates RhoA Signaling in Skeletal MuscleMol. Biol. Cell 20:3905-3917. PMCID: PMC2735489

Roche, J.A., R.M. Lovering, R. Roche, P.W. Reed and R.J. Bloch. (2010) Extensive mononuclear infiltration and myogenesis characterize the recovery of dysferlin-null skeletal muscle from contraction-induced injuriesAm. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol., 298:C298-312. PMCID: PMC2822489

Zhang, Y., W.G. Resneck, P.C. Lee, D.H. Catino, D. Ford-Speelman, W.R. Randall, R.J. Bloch and J.A. Ursitti (2010) Characterization and Expression of a Heart-Specific, Alternatively Spliced Variant of αII-Spectrin, Cardi+, during Development in the Rat. J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 48, 1050-1059. Epub 2010 Jan 28. [Commentary: T.J Hund, P.J. Mohler, J. Mol. Cell. Cardiol. 48, 1031-1032. Epub 2010 Feb 6].  PMCID: PMC3537504

Weinman, E.J., D. Steplock, Y. Zhang, R. Biswas, R.J. Bloch and S. Shenolikar (2010) Cooperativity between the phosphorylation of Thr95 and Ser77 of NHERF-1 in the hormonal regulation of renal phosphate transport. J. Biol. Chem. 285, 25134-25138.  PMCID: PMC2919075

Ziman, A.P., C.W. Ward, G.G. Rodney, W.J. Lederer, and R.J. Bloch (2010) Quantitative measurement of Ca2+ in the sarcoplasmic reticulum lumen of mammalian skeletal muscleBiophys. J. 99, 2705-2714. PMCID: PMC2955505

Busby, B., C.D. Willis, M.A. Ackermann, A. Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos and R.J. Bloch (2010). Characterization and Comparison of Two Binding Sites on Obscurin for Small Ankyrin 1Biochem. 49, 9948-9956. PMCID: PMC3000613

Nestor, M.W., X. Cai, M.R. Stone, R.J. Bloch and S. Thompson (2011) The Actin Binding Domain of βI-Spectrin Regulates the Morphological and Functional Dynamics of Dendritic SpinesPLoS One 6, e16197. PMCID: PMC3031527

García-Pelagio, K., R.J. Bloch, A. Ortega and H. González-Serratos (2011) Biomechanics of the Sarcolemma and Costameres in Skeletal Myofibers from Normal and Dystrophic MiceJ. Musc. Res. Cell Motil. 31, 323–336. [PMID: 21312057; PMCID, in process]

Lovering, R.M., A. O’Neill, J.M. Muriel, B.L. Prosser, J. Strong and R.J. Bloch (2011) Physiology, Structure, and Susceptibility to Injury of Skeletal Muscle in Mice Lacking Keratin 19-Based and Desmin-Based Intermediate FilamentsAm. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 300, C803-C813 PMCID: PMC3074621

Busby, B., T. Oashi, C.D. Willis, M.A Ackermann, A. Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, A.D. MacKerell Jr. and R.J. Bloch (2011) Electrostatic Interactions Mediate Binding of Obscurin to Small Ankyrin 1: Biochemical and Molecular Modeling StudiesJ. Mol. Biol. 408, 321-334 PMCID: PMC3367564

Ackermann, M.A., A.P. Ziman, J. Strong, C.W. Ward, W.R. Randall, A. Kontrogianni-Konstantopoulos, and R.J. Bloch (2011) Integrity of the Network Sarcoplasmic Reticulum in Skeletal Muscle Requires Small Ankyrin 1J. Cell Sci. 124, 3619-3630. PMCID: PMC3215573

Roche, J.A., L. Ru, A. O’Neill, R. Lovering and R.J. Bloch (2011) Unmasking potential intracellular roles for dysferlin through improved immunolabeling methodsJ. Histochem. Cytochem.59, 964-975. PMCID: PMC3261626

Roche, J.A., D.L. Ford-Speelman, L.W. Ru, A.L. Densmore, R. Roche, P.W. Reed and R.J. Bloch (2011) Physiological and Histological Changes in Skeletal Muscle Following in Vivo Gene Transfer by ElectroporationAm. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 301, C1239-C1250. PMCID: PMC3213910

Lund, L.M., J.P. Kerr, J. Lupinetti, Y. Zhang, M.A. Russell, R.J. Bloch and M. Bond (2012). Synemin Isoforms Differentially Organize Cell Junctions and Desmin Filaments in Neonatal CardiomyocytesFASEB J. 26, 137-148. PMCID: PMC3250239

Shah, S.B., J.M. Love, A. O’Neill, R.M. Lovering and R.J. Bloch (2012) Influences of Desmin and Keratin 19 on Passive Biomechanical Properties of Mouse Skeletal Muscle. J. Biotechnol. Biomed. 704061. PMCID: PMC3263816

Roche, J.A., L.W. Ru, and R.J. Bloch (2012) Distinct Effects of Contraction-induced Injury In Vivo on Four Different Murine Models of DysferlinopathyJ. Biotechnol. Biomed. 134031 PMCID: PMC3303924

Willis, C.D., T. Oashi, B. Busby, A.D. MacKerell Jr., and R.J. Bloch (2012) Hydrophobic Contribution to Binding of Obscurin and Small Ankyrin 1. Mol. Memb. Biol. 29, 36-51. PMCID: PMC3377380

Reed, P., A. Densmore, and R.J. Bloch (2012) Optimization of Large Gel 2D Electrophoresis for Proteomic Studies of Skeletal MuscleElectrophoresis 33, 1263-1270. [PMID:22589104; PMCID in process]

Lostal, W., M. Bartoli, C. Roudaut, N. Bourg, M. Krahn, M. Pryadkina, P. Borel, L. Suel, J.A. Roche, D. Stockholm, R.J. Bloch, N. Levy, R. Bashi, and I. Richard (2012) Restoration of Sarcolemmal Resealing in a Mouse Model of Dysferlinopathy Is Not Sufficient to Improve Dystrophic ChangesPlOS One, e38036. PMCID: PMC3362551

Goodall, M.H., C.W. Ward, S.J. Pratt, R.J. Bloch and R.M. Lovering (2012) Structural and Functional Evaluation of Branched Myofibers Lacking Intermediate FilamentsAm. J. Physiol. Cell Physiol. 303, C224-C232.  PMCID: PMC3404518

Kerr, J.P., A.P. Ziman, A.L. Mueller, J.M. Muriel, E. Kleinhans-Welte, J.D. Gumerson, S.S. Vogel, C.W. Ward, J.A. Roche and R.J. Bloch(2013) Dysferlin stabilizes stress-induced Ca 2+ signaling in the transverse tubule membraneProc. Natl. Acad. USA 110, 20831-20836. PMCID: PMC3870721

Kerr, J.P., C.W. Ward and R.J. Bloch (2014) Dysferlin at transverse tubules regulates Ca2+ homeostasis in skeletal muscle.  Frontiers Physiol 5, article 89PMCID: PMC3944681

Research Interests

  • Organization of the Plasma Membrane and Intracellular Membranes in Excitable Cells
  • Acetylcholine Receptors
  • Synapse Formation
  • Organization of Striated Muscle Membrane-associated Cytoskeleton
  • Myofibrillogenesis

Awards and Affiliations

Amber L. Mueller won a prize for “Best Poster” at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Clinical Conference, held in Arlington VA March 20-23, 2016. Her poster was entitled “Xenografting Human Myogenic Cells into Mice, a new Model for FSHD”.

Anna Llach Martinez won a prize for “Best Poster” sponsored by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) at the
“New Direction in Skeletal Muscle Biology and Disease” meeting, held in Orlando, FL, June 29 – July 2, 2016. The prize included $1,000 and the opportunity to apply for a small grant that would be considered by the MDA on the “fast track”. Her poster was entitled “Xenografting Human Myogenic Cells into Mice: a New Model for FSHD”.

Amber Mueller also shared the prize for Best Oral Presentation at the combined retreat of the Muscle and Membrane Biology programs this spring.

Grants and Contracts

My current grants are from the NIH (one RO1 and one R21, from NIAMS and NINDS, respectively), the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Jain Foundation.

Lab Techniques and Equipment

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Muscle Physiology
  • Muscle Ultrastructure
  • Biacore and Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Xenografting

Links of Interest

Laboratory Personnel

  • Joaquin Muriel-Gonzalez (Research Associate) Structure and function of intermediate filaments and dysferlin in skeletal muscle
  • Valeriy Lukyanenko (Senior Research Analyst) Sysferlin and Ca2+ signaling
  • Yinghua Zhang (Research Associate) Studies of protein-protein interaction with surface plasmon resonance
  • Andrea O’Neill (Senior Research Assistant) Cell and molecular studies of mice null for intermediate filament proteins, especially keratins and desmin
  • Amber Mueller (Graduate Student) Xenografting
  • Emily Kleinhans (Research Assistant) Molecular biological studies of structural proteins in muscle