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Micah Drummond

Professor of Physical Therapy & Athletic Training and
Adjunct Professor of Microbiology & Immunology, Nutrition & Integrative Physiology, and of Endocrinology & Metabolism

Aging, Muscle, Inflammation, Exercise, Nutrition, Metabolism, Translational Research

Drummond Photo


Molecular Biology Program


B.S. California Lutheran Unversity

Ph.D. Brigham Young University



Aging is a process of physiological and functional decline accelerated by a physically inactive lifestyle. Physically inactive older adults are at risk for developing metabolic disease (insulin resistance, glucose intolerance) and loss of muscle mass resulting in a poor quality of life and loss of physical independence.

The research projects within the Drummond laboratory hold to two general research themes:

  1. Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle growth and metabolic function in aging muscle.
  2. Utilizing therapeutic tools (nutritional, contractile analogs, pharmacological) to limit muscle and metabolic deficits that occur with physical inactivity in aged muscle.

The Drummond lab utilizes a host of molecular biology techniques and functional assays to further enhance the understanding of the mechanisms involved in metabolic dysfunction and muscle atrophy in aging skeletal muscle and in response to physical inactivity. Specific questions are addressed using mechanistic mouse models complemented with controlled physical inactivity experiments in older adults (bed rest). Clinical muscle samples are often paralleled with whole body measurements of physical mobility, muscle strength and size capitalizing on the resources of the skeletal muscle exercise research facility (SMERF) and the expertise of the SMERF investigators within the Department of Physical Therapy. We also utilize generous services from the University of Utah’s Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences ( to assist with our inpatient and outpatient older adult experiments and analysis. Dr. Drummond collaborates with investigators across the Health Sciences and College of Health many of whom are associated with the Diabetes and Obesity Metabolism Center.


  1. Petrocelli JJ, McKenzie AI, de Hart NMMP, Reidy PT, Mahmassani ZS, Keeble AR, Kaput KL, Wahl MP, Rondina MT, Marcus RL, Welt CK, Holland WL, Funai K, Fry CS, Drummond MJ. Disuse-induced muscle fibrosis, cellular senescence and senescence-associated secretory phenotype in older adults are alleviated during re-ambulation with metformin pre-treatment. Aging Cell [ePub ahead of Print], 2023.
  2. Reidy PT, Borack MS, Dickinson JM, Carroll C, Burd NA, Drummond MJ, Fry CS, Lambert B, Gundermann, DM, Glynn EL, Markofski MM, Timmerman KL, Moro T, Volpi E, Trappe S, Trappe TA, Harber MP, Rasmussen BB. Basal post-absorptive muscle protein synthesis is higher in outpatients as compared to inpatients. Am J Phys, Endo Metab [ePub ahead of Print], 2023.
  3. Eshima H, Shahtout JL, Siripoksup  P, Mackenzie PJ, Mahmassani ZS, Ferrara PJ, Lyons AW, Maschek JA, Peterlin AD, Verkerke ARP, Johnson JM, Salcedo A, Anderson EJ, Boudina S, Ran Q, Cox JE, Drummond MJ, Funai K. Lipid hydroperoxides promote sarcopenia through carbonyl stress. eLife [ePub ahead of Print], 2023.
  4. Petrocelli JJ, de Hart NMMP, Lang MJ, Yee EM, Ferrara PJ, Fix DK, Chaix A, Funai K, Drummond MJ. Cellular senescence and disrupted proteostasis induced by myotube atrophy is prevented with low dose metformin and leucine cocktail. Aging [ePub ahead of Print], 2023.
  5. Ferrara PJ, Reidy PT, Petrocelli JJ, Yee EM, Fix DK, Mahmassani ZS, Montgomery JA, McKenzie AI, de Hart NMMP, Drummond MJ. Global deletion of CCL2 has adverse impact on recovery of skeletal muscle fiber size and function and is muscle-specific. Journal of Applied Physiology [ePub ahead of Print], 2023. 
  6. Mahmassani ZS, McKenzie AI, Petrocelli JJ, de Hart NM, Reidy PT, Fix DK, Ferrara PJ, Funai K, Drummond MJ. Short-Term Metformin Ingestion by Healthy Older Adults Improves Myoblast Function. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021. PMID: 33406027.
  7. Reidy PT, Monning JM, Pickering CE, Funai K, Drummond MJ. Pre-Clinical Rodent Models of Physical Inactivity-Induced Muscle Insulin Resistance: Challenges and Solutions. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2020. PMID: 33356986.
  8. Petrocelli JJ, Drummond MJ. PGC-1α-Targeted Therapeutic Approaches to Enhance Muscle Recovery in Aging. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 17(22):8650. 2020. PMID: 33233350.
  9. Petrocelli JJ, McKenzie AI, Mahmassani ZS, Reidy PT, Stoddard GJ, Poss AM, Holland WL, Summers SA, Drummond MJ. Ceramide Biomarkers Predictive of Cardiovascular Disease Risk Increase in Healthy Older Adults After Bed Rest. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 75(9):1663-1670. 2020. PMID: 32215553.
  10. Eshima H, Siripoksup P, Mahmassani ZS, Johnson JM, Ferrara PJ, Verkerke ARP, Salcedo A, Drummond MJ, Funai K. Neutralizing mitochondrial ROS does not rescue muscle atrophy induced by hindlimb unloading in female mice. J Appl Physiol (1985). 129(1):124-132. 2020. PMID: 32552434.
  11. Reidy PT, Edvalson LT, McKenzie AI, Petrocelli JJ, Mahmassani ZS, Drummond MJ. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation and protein during bed rest increases CD11b+ skeletal muscle macrophages but does not correspond to muscle size or insulin sensitivity. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 45(11):1261-1269. 2020 PMID: 32470312.
  12. Ekiz HA, Ramstead AG, Lee SH, Nelson MC, Bauer KM, Wallace JA, Hu R, Round JL, Rutter J, Drummond MJ, Rao DS, O'Connell RM. T Cell-Expressed microRNA-155 Reduces Lifespan in a Mouse Model of Age-Related Chronic Inflammation. J Immunol. 204(8):2064-2075. 2020. PMID: 32161096.
  13. Mahmassani ZS, Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Petrocelli JJ, Matthews O, de Hart NM, Ferrara PJ, O'Connell RM, Funai K, Drummond MJ. Absence of MyD88 from Skeletal Muscle Protects Female Mice from Inactivity-Induced Adiposity and Insulin Resistance. Obesity (Silver Spring). 28(4):772-782. 2020. PMID: 32108446.
  14. Reidy PT, Mahmassani ZS, McKenzie AI, Petrocelli JJ, Summers SA, Drummond MJ. Influence of Exercise Training on Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance in Aging: Spotlight on Muscle Ceramides. Int J Mol Sci. 21(4):1514. 2020. PMID: 32098447.
  15. McKenzie AI, Reidy PT, Nelson DS, Mulvey JL, Yonemura NM, Petrocelli JJ, Mahmassani ZS, Tippetts TS, Summers SA, Funai K, Drummond MJ. Pharmacological inhibition of TLR4 ameliorates muscle and liver ceramide content after disuse in previously physically active mice. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 318(3):R503-R511. 2020. PMID: 31994900
  16. Venturelli M, Schena F, Naro F, Reggiani C, Pereira Guimarães M, de Almeida Costa Campos Y, Costa Moreira O, Fernandes da Silva S, Silva Marques de Azevedo PH, Dixit A, Srivastav S, Hinkley JM, Seaborne RA, Viggars M, Sharples AP, Mahmassani ZS, Drummond MJ, Gondin J. Commentaries on Viewpoint: "Muscle memory" not mediated by myonuclear number? Secondary analysis of human detraining data. J Appl Physiol (1985). 127(6):1817-1820. 2019. PMID: 31829831.
  17. Reidy PT, Dupont-Versteegden EE, Drummond MJ. Macrophage Regulation of Muscle Regrowth From Disuse in Aging. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 47(4):246-250. 2019. PMID: 31525165.
  18. Heden TD, Johnson JM, Ferrara PJ, Eshima H, Verkerke ARP, Wentzler EJ, Siripoksup P, Narowski TM, Coleman CB, Lin CT, Ryan TE, Reidy PT, de Castro Brás LE, Karner CM, Burant CF, Maschek JA, Cox JE, Mashek DG, Kardon G, Boudina S, Zeczycki TN, Rutter J, Shaikh SR, Vance JE, Drummond MJ, Neufer PD, Funai K. Mitochondrial PE potentiates respiratory enzymes to amplify skeletal muscle aerobic capacity. Sci Adv. 5(9):eaax8352. 2019. PMID: 31535029.
  19. Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Mahmassani ZS, Petrocelli JJ, Nelson DB, Lindsay CC, Gardner JE, Morrow VR, Keefe AC, Huffaker TB, Stoddard GJ, Kardon G, O'Connell RM, Drummond MJ. Aging impairs mouse skeletal muscle macrophage polarization and muscle-specific abundance during recovery from disuse. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 317(1):E85-E98. 2019. PMID: 30964703.
  20. Runtsch MC, Nelson MC, Lee SH, Voth W, Alexander M, Hu R, Wallace J, Petersen C, Panic V, Villanueva CJ, Evason KJ, Bauer KM, Mosbruger T, Boudina S, Bronner M, Round JL, Drummond MJ, O'Connell RM. Anti-inflammatory microRNA-146a protects mice from diet-induced metabolic disease. PLoS Genet. 15(2):e1007970. 2019. PMID: 30768595.
  21. Mahmassani ZS, Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Stubben C, Howard MT, Drummond MJ. Disuse-induced insulin resistance susceptibility coincides with a dysregulated skeletal muscle metabolic transcriptome. J Appl Physiol (1985). 126(5):1419-1429. 2019. PMID: 30763167.
  22. Reidy PT, Yonemura NM, Madsen JH, McKenzie AI, Mahmassani ZS, Rondina MT, Lin YK, Kaput K, Drummond MJ. An accumulation of muscle macrophages is accompanied by altered insulin sensitivity after reduced activity and recovery. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 226(2):e13251. 2019. PMID: 30632274.
  23. Mahmassani ZS, Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Stubben C, Howard MT, Drummond MJ. Age-dependent skeletal muscle transcriptome response to bed rest-induced atrophy. J Appl Physiol (1985). 126(4):894-902. 2019. PMID: 30605403.
  24. Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Mahmassani Z, Morrow VR, Yonemura NM, Hopkins PN, Marcus RL, Rondina MT, Lin YK, Drummond MJ. Skeletal muscle ceramides and relationship with insulin sensitivity after 2 weeks of simulated sedentary behaviour and recovery in healthy older adults. J Physiol. 596(21):5217-5236. 2018. PMID: 30194727.
  25. Briggs RA, Houck JR, Drummond MJ, Fritz JM, LaStayo PC, Marcus RL. Asymmetries Identified in Sit-to-Stand Task Explain Physical Function After Hip Fracture. J Geriatr Phys Ther. 41(4):210-217. 2018. PMID: 28252470.
  26. Agergaard J, Bülow J, Jensen JK, Reitelseder S, Bornø A, Drummond MJ, Schjerling P, Holm L. Effect of light-load resistance exercise on postprandial amino acid transporter expression in elderly men. Physiol Rep. 5(18):e13444. 2017. PMID: 28963124.
  27. Reidy PT, Lindsay CC, McKenzie AI, Fry CS, Supiano MA, Marcus RL, LaStayo PC, Drummond MJ. Aging-related effects of bed rest followed by eccentric exercise rehabilitation on skeletal muscle macrophages and insulin sensitivity. Exp Gerontol.  pii: S0531-5565(17)30263-2. 2017.
  28. Drummond MJ, Reidy PT, Baird LM, Dalley BK, Howard MT. Leucine Differentially Regulates Gene-Specific Translation in Mouse Skeletal Muscle. J Nutr. Jun 14. pii: jn251181. 2017.
  29. Reidy PT, McKenzie AI, Brunker P, Nelson DS, Barrows KM, Supiano M, LaStayo PC, Drummond MJ. Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Combined with Protein Ingestion Preserves Thigh Muscle Mass But Not Muscle Function in Healthy Older Adults During 5 Days of Bed Rest. Rejuvenation Res. 2017.
  30. Reidy PT, Fry CS, Dickinson JM, Drummond MJ, Rasmussen BB. Postexercise essential amino acid supplementation amplifies skeletal muscle satellite cell proliferation in older men 24 hours postexercise. Physiol Rep. 5(11):e13269. 2017. PMID: 28596299 Free PMC article.
  31. McKenzie AI, Briggs RA, Barrows KM, Nelson DS, Kwon OS, Hopkins PN, Higgins TF, Marcus RL, Drummond MJ. A pilot study examining the impact of exercise training on skeletal muscle genes related to the TLR signaling pathway in older adults following hip fracture recovery. J Appl Physiol (1985) 122: 68-75. 2017.
  32. Kwon OS, Nelson DS, Barrows KM, O'Connell RM, Drummond MJ. Intramyocellular ceramides and skeletal muscle mitochondrial respiration are partially regulated by Toll-like receptor 4 during hindlimb unloading. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 311: R879-R887. 2016.
  33. Kwon OS, Tanner RE, Barrows KM, Runtsch M, Symons JD, Jalili T, Bikman BT, McClain DA, O’Connell RM, Drummond MJ. MyD88 regulates physical inactivity-induced skeletal muscle inflammation, ceramide biosynthesis signaling and glucose intolerance. Am J Physiol Endo Metab 309: E11-21, 2015. PMCID: PMC4490331
  34. Tanner RE, Brunker L, Agergaard J, Barrows K, Briggs R, Kwon O, Young L, Hopkins P, Volpi E, Marcus R, LaStayo P, Drummond MJ. Age-related differences in leg lean mass, protein synthesis and skeletal muscle markers of proteolysis after bed rest and exercise rehabilitation. J Physiol 593: 4259-4273. 2015.
  35. Drummond MJ, Addison A, Brunker L, Hopkins PN, McClain DA, LaStayo PC, Marcus RL. Down-regulation of E3 ubiquitin ligases and mitophagy-related genes in skeletal muscle of physically inactive, frail older women: A cross-sectional comparison. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci, 69: 1040-1048, 2014 PMCID: PMC4111292
  36. Thalacker-Mercer AE, Drummond MJ. Role of protein in inactive, hospitalized older adults. Acad Sci. 1328: 1-9, 2014.
  37. Drummond MJ, Timmerman KL, Markofski MM, Walker DK, Dickinson JM, Jamaluddin M, Brasier AR, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Short-term bed rest increases TLR4 and IL-6 expression in skeletal muscle of older adults. American Journal of Physiology, Regulatory and Integrative Physiology, 305: R216-23, 2013. PMCID: PMC3743002
  38. Drummond MJ, Dickinson JM, Fry CS, Walker DK, Gundermann DM, Reidy PT, Timmerman KL, Markofski MM, Paddon-Jones D, Rasmussen BB, Volpi E. Bed rest impairs skeletal muscle mTORC1 signaling, amino acid transporter expression and protein synthesis in response to essential amino acid in older adults. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 302: E1113-22, 2012. PMCID: PMC3361979
  39. Drummond, MJ, Glynn EL, Fry CS, Timmerman KL, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. An increase in essential amino acid availability upregulates amino acid transporter expression in human skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology and Metabolism, 298: E1011-E1018, 2010. PMCID: PMC2867366
  40. Fry CS, Drummond MJ, Glynn EL, Dickinson JM, Gunderman DM, Timmerman KL, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Aging impairs contraction-induced human skeletal muscle mTORC1 signaling and protein synthesis. Skeletal Muscle. 1:11, 2011. PMCID: PMC3156634
  41. Drummond MJ, Fry CS, Glynn EL, Dreyer HC, Dhanani S, Timmerman KL, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Rapamycin administration in humans blocks the contraction-induced increase in skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Journal of Physiology, 587: 1535-1546, 2009. PMCID: PMC2678224
  42. Drummond MJ, Fry CS, Dreyer HC, Pennings B, Dhanani S, Volpi E, Rasmussen BB. Skeletal muscle protein anabolic response to resistance exercise and essential amino acids is delayed with aging. J Appl Physiol, 104: 1452-61, 2008. PMCID: PMC2715298
Last Updated: 7/31/23