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Blake B. Rasmussen, PhD Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Director, Center for Metabolic Health
Bertha and Robert Bucksch Distinguished Research Professorship

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

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Center for Metabolic Health


Blake B. Rasmussen, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and holds the Bertha and Robert Bucksch Distinguished Research Professorship. He is also the Director of the UTMB Center for Metabolic Health, and a Senior Fellow of the Sealy Center on Aging.

Dr. Rasmussen received a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Utah State University in 1992 and 1993, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Zoology and Cell Biology from Brigham Young University in 1997.  He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Metabolism working with Dr. Robert R. Wolfe and accepted his first faculty position in the Department of Integrative & Evolutionary Biology at the University of Southern California.  He has been on faculty at UTMB since 2004.

Research Interests

Muscle Biology, Exercise Physiology, Nutrition, Sarcopenia, Amino Acid and Protein Metabolism

Research Affiliations
Grants & Funding
  • Grant# U01 AR071150 12/07/2016 - 11/30/2022

    • Title: University of Texas Adult Clinical Center (MoTrPAC)
      Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, NIAMS
    • Objective: The major goals of this center grant are to recruit 450 participants into exercise training clinical trials as part of the NIH Common Fund Initiative to develop a molecular map of how physical activity alters the human body. Our role will be to serve as one of 6 adult clinical centers responsible for recruiting 3,000 participants nationwide to enroll in aerobic and resistance exercise training clinical trials and to obtain blood, muscle and adipose samples before and after both acute and chronic exercise
    • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Grant# R01 AG064386 08/15/2019 - 03/31/2023

    • Title: Sex-Specific Determinants of Early Phase Recovery from Skeletal Muscle Disuse
    • Source: National Institute of Aging, NIA
    • Objective: The major goals of this grant are to identify the sex-specific effects of skeletal muscle disuse and characterize subjects most and least susceptible to disuse atrophy.  Transcriptomics, metabolomics, cell signaling and protein turonver techniques will be used to develop a molecular time course of muscle atrophy during disuse and regrowth during rehabilitation in men and women.
    • Role: Principal Investigator
  • Grant# P30 AG024832 06/01/2010 - 06/30/2025

    • Title: Metabolism & Biology Resource Core (MB-RC2), UTMB Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center 
    • Source: National Institute on Aging, NIA
    • Objective: The major goals of this center grant are to support basic and clinical research on ways for elderly Americans to lead a more independent life for as long as possible. The center is focused on translating basic findings of muscle biology in aging to improve functional outcomes and recovery from illness in older adults.
    • Role: Metabolism & Biology Resource Core Leader
Notable Publications
  • Graber, T.G., C.S. Fry, C.R. Brightwell, T. Moro, R. Maroto, N. Bhattari, C. Porter, M. Wakamiya, and B.B. Rasmussen. Skeletal muscle specific knockout of DEP domain-containing 5 increases mTORC1 signaling, muscle cell hypertrophy, and mitochondrial respiration. Journal of Biological Chemistry 294(11): 4091-4102, 2019.
  • Sanford JA et al…Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (B.B. Rasmussen). Molecular transducers of physical activity consortium (MoTrPAC): mapping the dynamic response to exercise. Cell 181(7): 1464-1474, 2020.
  • Lavin, K.L., B.M. Roberts, C.S. Fry, T. Moro, B.B. Rasmussen, and M.M. Bamman. The importance of resistance exercise training to combat neuromuscular aging. Physiology (Bethesda) 34(2): 112-122, 2019.
  • Graber, T.G., R. Maroto, C.S. Fry, C.R. Brightwell, and B.B. Rasmussen.  Measuring exercise capacity and physical function in adult and older mice.  Experimental Gerontology  76(5): 819-824, 2021.
  • Borack, M.S., J.M. Dickinson, C.S. Fry, P.T. Reidy, M.M. Markofski, R.R. Deer, K. Jennings, E. Volpi, and B.B. Rasmussen.  Effect of the lysosomotropic agent chloroquine on mTORC1 activation and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle.  Nutrition & Metabolism 18(1): 61, 2021.
  • Ebert, S.M., B.B. Rasmussen, A.R. Judge, S.M. Judge, L. Larsson, R.C. Wek, T.G. Anthony, G.R. Marcotte, M.J. Miller, M.A. Yorek, E. Volpi, J.I. Stern, M.D. Strub, Z. Ryan, J.J. Talley, and C.M. Adams.  Biology of activating transcription factor 4 (ATF4) and its role in skeletal muscle atrophy. Journal of Nutrition 152(4): 926-938, 2022.