Multiscale Muscle Mechanophysiology (M3) Lab
Principal Investigator: Silvia Blemker, Ph.D.

About Us

Our Story

Improving health through musculoskeletal modeling.

About Us

The Multiscale Muscle Mechanophysiology (“M3”) lab is collectively fascinated by skeletal muscles, which are the motors for all the wide range of voluntary movements in the human body. Each muscle’s properties are beautifully tuned for a specific function in the body, which can be easily disrupted by diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or in aging populations. We seek to gain new insights into the form, function, biology, and diseases of muscles. Our work has the ultimate goal of improving treatments and quality of life for individuals suffering from muscle-related clinical problems. We integrate a variety of computational and experimental approaches to achieve this goal.


Below are some of the current applications of our work. Check out our publications for more information on current and past projects.

Cellular and Tissue


Whole Body


  • Silvia Blemker, PhD

    Principal Investigator
    Dr. Blemker is from Lawrence, Kansas. She did her undergraduate and Master’s work in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is broadly interested in muscle mechanics & physiology, multi-scale modeling, mentoring students, and teaching. Her hobbies include: spending time with family, organizing legos, jogging, hiking, reading, traveling, and tennis (at the very beginner level).

  • Xiao Hu, PhD

    Research Scientist
    Xiao completed his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. He is interested in using musculoskeletal modeling and simulation as a tool to understand how muscles are being used by our body to complete a variety of tasks and sports, and how this amazing ability is negatively affected by various musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. He likes watching movies, listening to music, playing ping-pong and spending time with his family.

  • Emily McCain, PhD

    Postdoctoral Researcher
    Emily completed her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at North Carolina State University in 2021 where she researched the consequences of neuromuscular and orthopedic impairments on walking performance. She is currently working toward the development of sex-specific musculoskeletal models to investigate how sex differences affect muscle function during movement. Outside of work, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, trying new restaurants around Charlottesville, camping, hiking, and watching the US women’s national soccer team play.

  • Matthew DiSalvo

    PhD Candidate
    Matthew completed a B.S. in Bioengineering from Lehigh University in 2016 and a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University in 2018. Currently, he is working on creating finite element models of muscle can be used in the design of regenerative therapies. When not in the lab, Matthew enjoys playing board games, brewing his own beer, and exploring the hiking trails around Charlottesville.

  • Ridhi Sahani

    PhD Candidate
    Ridhi received her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Dance from Bucknell University in 2018. Her research is focused on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, specifically the effect of ECM remodeling on fibrosis. Outside of lab, Ridhi is continuing to dance in the UVA Dance Concerts and enjoys reading, exploring Charlottesville, and binge watching Grey's Anatomy.

  • Allie McCrady

    PhD Candidate
    Allie received her B.S. in biomedical engineering from Trine University in May 2019. Her research focuses on using ultrasound in clinic to investigate changes to skeletal muscle architecture in neuromuscular diseases and leveraging 3-D muscle modeling to improve the accuracy and reliability of ultrasound measurements. Outside the lab, Allie enjoys watching reality TV and Grey’s Anatomy, spoiling her two cats, exploring Charlottesville, and attending UVA sporting events!

  • Megan Haase

    PhD Candidate
    Megan received her B.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering from the joint department at North Carolina State and University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in May 2020. Her research focuses on using experimental and computational approaches to understand sex differences in muscle regeneration and hypertrophy. In her free time, Megan enjoys running, hiking, and playing piano.

  • Mario Garcia

    PhD Student
    Mario completed a B.S. in Biomedical and Health Sciences Engineering with a minor in Philosophy from the joint department at North Carolina State and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in May 2021. His research interests include modeling muscle architecture after traumatic injury and the incorporation of bioengineered materials into muscle modeling. Outside of the lab, Mario enjoys reading, exploring new things, and spending time with his two dogs.

  • Jacob Dunn

    Lab Specialist
    Jacob earned a B.S. in Biology with a minor in Medical Humanities from Baylor University in May 2020. His work in lab supports the research currently underway using experimental and computational approaches to understand sex differences in muscle physiology. Outside of the lab, Jacob enjoys reading, coffee, and leatherworking.

  • Mr. Bones

    Lab Mascot

  • Be Part
    Of Our


    Prospective Graduate Students

    Prospective graduate students interested in joining our research group should apply to our BME graduate program here or contact Dr. Silvia Blemker.


    Bright, hard-working undergraduates interested in working in the lab are invited to attend lab meetings for one semester to become familiar with our research before getting involved with a project. To be considered for a position, please email a cover letter and résumé to Dr. Silvia Blemker.

Meet our alumni!


For difficulties accessing a publication, please contact Silvia Blemker

Contact Us

M3 Lab Address

415 Lane Road
MR5 Room 2231
Box 800759
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Lab Director

Silvia Blemker, PhD
Robert Thomson Distinguished Professor, Biomedical Engineering
MR5 Room 2133

Here's a map of the UVA hospital area. MR5 is building 20B, and parking is available in the 11th Street Parking Garage - Building 39.