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Richard M. Lovering, PhD, PT

Academic Title:

Associate Professor

Primary Appointment:


Secondary Appointment(s):

Physical Therapy, Physiology, Anatomy Neurobiology


100 Penn Street, AHB, Room 540

Phone (Primary):




Education and Training

  • 1986 - B.S., Boston University (Physical Therapy)
  • 1994 - Board Certified Orthopedic Specialist (American Physical Therapy Association)
  • 2003 - Ph.D., University of Maryland School of Medicine (mentor: Dr. Patrick De Deyne)
  • 2003-2005 - Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine (mentor: Dr. Robert Bloch)
  • 2005-2010 - Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • 2010-2014 - Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine
  • 2014-present - Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Highlighted Publications

See a complete list of Dr. Lovering's published work on PubMed.

Book Chapters

Physiotherapy in treating overuse and other muscle injuries. Skeletal Muscle Damage and Repair: Mechanisms and Interventions, edited by Peter Tiidus, Human Kinetics Inc., Champaign, IL, USA, pp. 219-230. 2008

In Vivo Assessment of Muscle Contractility in Animal Studies. Methods in Molecular Biology, edited by Michael Kyba, Humana Press, pp 293-307, 2016

Imaging Analysis of the Neuromuscular Junction in Dystrophic Mice, Methods in Molecular Biology, edited by Camilla Bernardini, Humana Press, pp 57-72, 2018

Research Interests

My laboratory initially focused on skeletal muscle injury and changes to the sarcolemmal-associated proteins in skeletal muscle fibers. Many of the changes induced by injury parallel the changes that occur with muscular dystrophy and sarcopenia (aging muscle), which have become the focus of the laboratory in recent years.

We try to relate changes seen at the cell level to whole muscle function and non-invasive in vivo imaging, such as MR imaging and spectroscopy. We are actively exploring interventions to minimize the weakness and susceptibility to injury observed in aging and dystrophic muscles.

Our most recent efforts have been focused on elucidating changes in nuclear mobility, position, and function that occur in dystrophic and aging muscles, and relating these findings to the muscle fiber cytoskeletal architecture and overal muscle function.

Grants and Contracts



R01 AR077581-01, PI: Grayson
“Regenerating Vascularized and Innervated Skeletal Muscle to Treat VML Defects”

DOD W81XWH1920044, PI: Iwamoto
“Functional restoration of muscle defect by selective RARg agonists”        

R01 AR071618, PI: Ward
NIH/NIAMS                                                                                                                                                                                                                  “Microtubule Regulated Mechanotransduction in Skeletal Muscle”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    R56 AR073193, PI (MPI): Lovering-Folker
NIH/NIAMS                                                                                                                                                                    “Investigating dystrophin-dependent organization of microtubules and nuclei and their impact on muscle function”

University of Maryland Claude D. Pepper Older Americans Independence Center (UM-OAIC), PI: Lovering
“Age-dependent changes in nuclear mechanotransduction as a driver of sarcopenia”                                         

UMB Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (ICTR), PI: Lovering
“Mechanisms of force loss in dystrophic and aging muscle”


R21 AR067872-01, PI: Lovering
"Targeting of Cells to Musculoskeletal Injury via Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles"

R21 AR071011, PI: Andrews
"Skeletal Muscle Repair after Injury and Niemann-Pick type A/B Disease"

R01 AR059913, PI: Spangenburg
"BRCA1 is necessary for optimal skeletal muscle function"

Tedco MSCRF, PI: Wagner
"Optimization and standardization of hiPSC culture protocols for clinical development"

R01 AR059179, PI: Lovering
"Mechanisms of Force Loss in Injured and Dystrophic Skeletal Muscle"

TONUS Therapeutics, PI: Lovering
"GsMTx4-D Efficacy Studies"

1K01 AR053235-01A, PI: Lovering
"The Role of Intermediate Filaments in Skeletal Muscle Injury and Disease"

CDA 4772, PI: Lovering
Muscular Dystrophy Association
"Sarcolemmal Recovery after Damage in Dystrophic Muscle"

F32 HD047099-01 (NRSA), PI: Lovering
"The Role of Cytokeratins in Skeletal Muscle Injury"

Research Grant, PI: De Deyne
NFL Charities
"Interventions after Acute Muscle Injury and Recovery of Function"

Visiting Scholar Award, PI: Lovering
American College of Sports Medicine (research on the intermediate filament, syncoilin, in skeletal muscle with Dr. Kay Davies, at the University of Oxford, England)

Travel Grant, PI: Lovering
International Society of Biomechanics (research on microarchitecture of human muscles with Dr. Ján Friden at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden)

T32 AR-007592, PI: Schneider
Interdisciplinary Training Program in Muscle Biology

Lab Techniques and Equipment

  • In vitro and in vivo skeletal muscle physiology
  • Immunocytochemistry and epifluorescent/confocal microscopy
  • Assays of membrane integrity (creatine kinase, Evans Blue Dye, reactive orange, etc)
  • Molecular techniques, such as qRT-PCR, viral transfection and recombinant DNA techniques
  • Protein techniques, such as Western blots and immunoprecipitations
  • Measurement of intracellular global and local calcium release
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy (MRS) to assess changes in damaged and/or diseased muscles
  • Finite element modeling and simulation to understand stress-strain distributions within muscle
  • Micro-CT; bone histomorphometry

Links of Interest

Laboratory Personnel


  • Shama Iyer, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
  • Megan Lerner (medical student)


  • Ana Valenica, PhD, MS (PhD student)
  • Mariah Goodall, PhD (post-doctoral fellow)
  • Jason Hamond, MD (orthopedic resident)
  • Gloribel Le (medical student)
  • Stephen J.P. Pratt (PhD student)
  • Tara Talaie (medical student)
  • Kathleen Twomey (medical student)
  • Camilo Vanegas (PhD student)


On Campus:

  • Norma Andrews, PhD
  • Craig Bennet, MD
  • Mohit Gilotra, MD
  • Frank Henn, MD
  • Martin Schneider, PhD
  • Joe Stains, PhD
  • Chris Ward, PhD
  • Su Xu, PhD

Off Campus:

  • Mark Anderson, MD, PhD (Hopkins)
  • Silvia Blemker, PhD (UVA)
  • Kay Davies, DPhil, DBE (Oxford)
  • Eric Folker, PhD (Boston College)
  • Joe Frank, MD (NIH)
  • Warren Grayson, PhD (Hopkins)
  • Jan Lammerding, PhD (Cornell)
  • Seward Rutkove, MD (Harvard)
  • Sameer Shah, PhD (UCSD)
  • Espen Spangenburg, PhD (ECU)
  • Tom Suchyna, PhD (SUNY)
  • Kathryn Wagner, MD, PhD (Hopkins)