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.

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Muscle Tissue Engineering

Ocular Biomechanics

Cleft Palate Repair

Human Athletic Performance

Muscle Adaptation and Remodeling


  • 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

    Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Thanh (Vi) Tran

    PhD Candidate
    Vi is a double Hoo, earning a B.S. in Engineering Science-Nanomedicine in 2014 and now pursuing her PhD in Biomedical Engineering, both at the University of Virginia. She is currently researching the muscle structure of UVA athletes and working to develop a novel bottle for babies born with cleft palate. In her freetime, Vi enjoys swimming, traveling, exploring C'ville, and cheering in all UVA sports events (especially UVA basketball) - GO HOOS!

  • Adrienne Williams

    PhD Candidate
    Adrienne is from Kingston, Jamaica. She is an alumnus of the University of the West Indies, Jamaica (BSc) and North Carolina A&T State University (MS). She is excited about developing computational models of lower limb muscles of Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients in order to determine the relationship between muscle strains and damage. Adrienne is a Twitter critter who loves playing soccer, attending group exercise classes, and spending time with family, especially her husband and daughter.

  • Christian (Hunter) Wallace

    PhD Candidate
    Hunter earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. As a member of the M3 Lab, he has worked with orthopedic surgeons to develop a novel tendon fixation device.

  • 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
    Alliereceived 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.

  • Mr. Bones

    Lab Mascot

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    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
Associate 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.