Marni Boppart



  • 4051 Beckman Institute
  • 405 North Mathews Avenue
  • Urbana, Illinois 61801


Marni Boppart obtained her bachelor degree in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH. She obtained her master degree in Cell Biology from Creighton University, Omaha, NE, while serving as an officer and Aerospace Physiologist in the U.S. Air Force. She received her Sc.D. in Applied Anatomy and Physiology from Boston University and completed research for her degree at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. Her postdoctoral work was completed in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Community Health and is full-time faculty at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include cellular biomechanics, cell signaling, and the role of extracellular matrix proteins in the protection of skeletal muscle from injury, disease, and aging.


Guiding Undergraduate Research Award, College of Health Sciences (2013); Faculty Ranked as Excellent (2009-current); Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar (2009); Arnold O. Beckman Award for Promising Research (2008); NIA Summer Institute on Aging Participant (2007); Outstanding Doctoral Student, New England American College of Sports Medicine (NEACSM) (2001); Student Investigator Award, NEACSM (2001); Graduate Student Scholarship, NEACSM (1998, 1999); Student Research Competition Dean's Award, Boston University (1999), Predoctoral Institutional National Research Service Award, National Institutes of Health (1998).


Preservation of skeletal muscle is essential for maintenance of health and physical function throughout the lifespan. My research focuses on understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for muscle repair and growth post-exercise. This information is then used to develop novel cell- and pharmacological-based interventions that can prevent or treat loss of muscle mass and function with age. We have a specific interest in understanding a role for the integrin and muscle resident stem cells in the beneficial adaptations that occur post-exercise.


  • 2015
    • Zou, K.; Huntsman, H. D.; Valero, M. C.; Adams, J.; Skelton, J.; De Lisio, M.; Jensen, T.; Boppart, M. D., Mesenchymal Stem Cells Augment the Adaptive Response to Eccentric Exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 2015, 47, (2), 315-325, DOI: 10.1249/Mss.0000000000000405.

    • Pincu, Y.; Linden, M. A.; Zou, K.; Baynard, T.; Boppart, M. D., The Effects of High Fat Diet and Moderate Exercise on Tgf Beta 1 and Collagen Deposition in Mouse Skeletal Muscle. Cytokine 2015, 73, (1), 23-29, DOI: 10.1016/j.cyto.2015.01.013.

    • Lee, M. K.; Rich, M. H.; Shkumatov, A.; Jeong, J. H.; Boppart, M. D.; Bashir, R.; Gillette, M. U.; Lee, J.; Kong, H., Glacier Moraine Formation-Mimicking Colloidal Particle Assembly in Microchanneled, Bioactive Hydrogel for Guided Vascular Network Construction. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015, 4, (2), 195-201, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201400153.

    • Caliari, S. R.; Weisgerber, D. W.; Grier, W. K.; Mahmassani, Z.; Boppart, M. D.; Harley, B. A. C., Collagen Scaffolds Incorporating Coincident Gradations of Instructive Structural and Biochemical Cues for Osteotendinous Junction Engineering. Advanced Healthcare Materials 2015, 4, (6), 831-837, DOI: 10.1002/adhm.201400809.

  • 2014
    • De Lisio M, Jensen T, Sukiennik AR, Huntsman HD, Boppart MD. Substrate and strain alter the muscle-derived mesenchymal stem cell secretome to promote myogenesis. Stem Cell Res Ther, 5: 74, 2014.

    • Lee MK, Rich MH, Shkumatov A, Liu SC, Jeong JH, LeyTheng L, Boppart MD, Gillette MU, Bashir J, Lee J, Kong H. Glacier moraine formation-mimicking colloidal particle assembly in microchanneled, bioactive hydrogel for vascular and neural patterning. Adv Health Mater, Epub ahead of print, 2014.

    • Zou K, Huntsman HD, Valero MC, Adams J, Skelton J, De Lisio M, Jensen T, Boppart MD. Mesenchymal stem cells augment the adaptive response to eccentric exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, Epub ahead of print, 2014.

    • Zou K*, De Lisio M*, Huntsman HD, Pincu Y, Mahmassani Z, Miller M, Olatunbosun D, Jensen T, Boppart MD.  Laminin-111 improves skeletal muscle stem cell quantity and function following eccentric exercise. Stem Cell Transl Med, Epub ahead of print, 2014. (*equal contribution as first author)

    • Zou, K.; De Lisio, M.; Huntsman, H. D.; Pincu, Y.; Mahmassani, Z.; Miller, M.; Olatunbosun, D.; Jensen, T.; Boppart, M. D., Laminin-111 Improves Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Quantity and Function Following Eccentric Exercise. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2014, 3, (9), 1013-1022, DOI:10.5966/sctm.2014-0044.

    • Zhao, Y. B.; Marjanovic, M.; Chaney, E. J.; Graf, B. W.; Mahmassani, Z.; Boppart, M. D.; Boppart, S. A., Longitudinal Label-Free Tracking of Cell Death Dynamics in Living Engineered Human Skin Tissue with a Multimodal Microscope. Biomedical Optics Express 2014, 5, (10), 3699-3716, DOI:10.1364/Boe.5.003699.

    • Graf, B. W.; Bower, A. J.; Chaney, E. J.; Marjanovic, M.; Adie, S. G.; De Lisio, M.; Valero, M. C.; Boppart, M. D.; Boppart, S. A., In Vivo Multimodal Microscopy for Detecting Bone-Marrow-Derived Cell Contribution to Skin Regeneration. Journal of Biophotonics 2014, 7, (1-2), 96-102, DOI:10.1002/jbio.201200240.

  • 2013
    • Huntsman HD, Zachwieja N, Zou K, Ripchik P, Valero MC, De Lisio M, Boppart MD. Mesenchymal stem cells contribute to vascular growth in skeletal muscle in response to eccentric exercise. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 304: H72-81, 2013.

    • Graf BW, Bower AJ, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, Adie SG, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD, Boppart SA. In vivo multimodal microscopy for detecting bone-marrow-derived cell contribution to skin regeneration. J Biophotonics, Epub ahead of print, 2013.

    • Graf BW, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, Adie SG, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD, Boppart SA. Long-term time-lapse multimodal intravital imaging of wound healing and bone-marrow-derived cell dynamics in skin. Technology, In press, 2013.

    • Graf BW, Chaney EJ, Marjanovic M, De Lisio M, Valero MC, Boppart MD, Boppart SA. In vivo imaging of immune cell dynamics in skin in response to zinc-oxide nanoparticle exposure. Biomed Opt Express 4: 1817-1828, 2013.

  • 2012
    • Liu, J. M.; Milner, D. J.; Boppart, M. D.; Ross, R. S.; Kaufman, S. J., β1D Chain Increases α7β1 Integrin and Laminin and Protects against Sarcolemmal Damage in mdx Mice. Human Molecular Genetics 2012, 21, (7), 1592-1603.

    • Valero, M. C.; Huntsman, H. D.; Liu, J. M.; Zou, K.; Boppart, M. D., Eccentric Exercise Facilitates Mesenchymal Stem Cell Appearance in Skeletal Muscle. PLoS One 2012, 7, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029760.

    • Zhao, Y. B.; Graf, B. W.; Chaney, E. J.; Mahmassani, Z.; Antoniadou, E.; DeVolder, R.; Kong, H.; Boppart, M. D.; Boppart, S. A., Integrated Multimodal Optical Microscopy for Structural and Functional Imaging of Engineered and Natural Skin. Journal of Biophotonics 2012, 5, (5-6), 437-448.

  • 2011
    • Lueders T, K Zou, HD Huntsman, B Meador, Z Mahmassani, M Abel, MC Valero, K Huey, and MD Boppart. The α7β1 integrin accelerates fiber hypertrophy and myogenesis following a single bout of eccentric exercise. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 301: C938-946, 2011.

    • Zou K, B Meador, B Johnson, C Valero, HD Huntsman, K Huey, and MD Boppart. α7β1 integrin increases muscle fiber hypertrophy following multiple bouts of eccentric exercise. Accepted, Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011.

    • Liu J, DJ Milner, MD Boppart, RS Ross, and SJ Kaufman. Enhancement of α7 integrin requires commensurate increasing of β1 integrin to alleviate pathology in dystrophic mice. Accepted, Human Molecular Genetics, 2011.

    • Valero C, HD Huntsman, J Liu, K Zou, and MD Boppart.  Eccentric exercise facilitates mesenchymal stem cell appearance in skeletal muscle. Accepted, PLoS One, 2011.   

    • Boppart, M. D.; Burkin, D. J.; Kaufman, S. J., Activation of AKT signaling promotes cell growth and survival in α7β1 integrin-mediated alleviation of muscular dystrophy. Biochimica Biophysics Acta (Molecular Basis of Disease) 2011, 1812, (4), 439-446.

  • 2010
    • Ding, H. F.; Berl, E.; Wang, Z.; Millet, L. J.; Gillette, M. U.; Liu, J. M.; Boppart, M.; Popescu, G., Fourier Transform Light Scattering of Biological Structure and Dynamics. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 2010, 16, (4), 909-918.

    • Ding, H. F.; Wang, Z.; Nguyen, F. T.; Boppart, S. A.; Millet, L. J.; Gillette, M. U.; Liu, J. M.; Boppart, M. D.; Popescu, G., Fourier Transform Light Scattering (FTLS) of Cells and Tissues. Journal of Computational and Theoretical Nanoscience 2010, 7, (12), 2501-2511.

  • 2009
    • Ge Y, AL Wu, C Warnes, J Liu, C Zhang, H Kawasome, N Terada, MD Boppart, CJ Schoenherr, and J Chen. mTOR regulates skeletal muscle regeneration through kinase-dependent and kinase-independent mechanisms. Am J Physiol Cell Physiology, 297: C1434-1444, 2009.

  • 2008
    • Boppart, M. D.; Volker, S. E.; Alexander, N.; Burkin, D. J.; Kaufman, S. J., Exercise promotes alpha 7 integrin gene transcription and protection of skeletal muscle. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 2008, 295, (5), R1623-R1630.

  • 2006
    • Pasquesi, J. J.; Schlachter, S.; Boppart, M. D.; Chaney, E. J.; Kaufman, S. J.; Boppart, S. A. In vivo detection of exercise-induced ultrastructural changes in genetically-altered murine skeletal muscle using polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography. Optics Express 2006, 14, 1547-56.

    • Boppart, M. D.; Burkin, D. J.; Kaufman, S. J. a7b1-integrin regulates mechanotransduction and prevents skeletal muscle injury. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology 2006, 290, (6), C1660-C1665.

  • 2001
    • Boppart MD, MF Hirshman, RA Fielding, and LJ Goodyear. Static stretch markedly increases c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) activity and p38 phosphorylation in rat skeletal muscle. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol 280: C352-C358, 2001.

  • 1999
    • Boppart MD, D Aronson, J Bean, LJ Goodyear, and RA Fielding. Eccentric exercise markedly increases c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase activity in human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol 87: 1668-1673, 1999.


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