Zachary is a Research Scientist interested in how exercise and disuse impacts the health and function of skeletal muscle. More specifically, he is interested in finding out if the underlying molecular phenotype of muscle can help inform treatments or interventions that can improve health and quality of life across the lifespan and disease states. Zachary received his BA in Spanish from The Ohio State University in 2007. He then transitioned to studying exercise physiology at the University of Kansas where he received his Master’s in 2010 and PhD in 2014. Zachary received postdoctoral training in muscle physiology at the National Center for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx under the mentorship of Christopher Cardozo. His research in the Bronx was largely dedicated to investigating mechanisms and treatments of muscle atrophy after spinal cord injury (SCI) in mice. The early part of his postdoc was focused on the role of myostatin and miRNAs associated with myostatin signaling after SCI. The latter part saw his research transition into SCI-induced changes in mitochondrial and metabolic outcomes.
Zachary moved to a research position at the Birmingham VA Medical Center in 2019 to continue his VA-funded work with pre-clinical models of SCI. A major goal of Zachary’s research is to find novel and efficacious therapies that improve skeletal muscle health during disuse. At the molecular level, the use of multiomic profiling of blood and muscle is a large component of Zachary’s studies with the aim of using these types of datasets to describe unique molecular signatures that may predict susceptibility or resiliency to disease/disuse, responses to an exercise bout or drug treatment, or to help in the design of individual exercise interventions. Outside of the lab Zachary is an avid hiker, backpacker, rock climber, cyclist and musician.