David Pierotti



Phone: 928-523-8375
Email: david.pierotti@nau.edu
Office: Building 21 Room 406

Research/teaching interests

  • muscle physiology
  • physiology education

Academic highlights

  • PhD: University of California, Los Angeles, 1992
  • MS, Kinesiology: University of California, Los Angeles, 1988
  • MS, Biology: Northern Arizona University, 1985
  • BS, Biology: Northern Arizona University, 1979 

The purpose of my work has been to understand the role of neural input and force production on muscle fiber plasticity in adult mammalian skeletal muscle. The classic striated appearance of a skeletal muscle fiber results from the coordinated expression and assembly of contractile and regulatory proteins.

The quantity and type of protein expressed reflects the type of activity the fiber is optimized to perform. Using in-situ and in-vivo models that modify electrical activation, control and quantify force production, and quantify enzyme activity, we are able to determine specific conditions that modulate fiber plasticity, force and power production.

More recently my focus has been on alternative teaching methods in large enrollment biology classes.

Selected publications

Reich, T.E., S.L. Lindstedt, P.C. LaStayo, and D.J. Pierotti. Is the spring quality of muscle plastic? Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. Jun;278(6):R1661-6. 2000.

Schaeffer, P.J. and D.J. Pierotti. A transcutaneous wire interface for small mammals using an expanded PTFE patch. J Neurosci Methods. Feb 15;114(1):81-5, 2002.

Lappin, A.K., J.A. Monroy*, J.Q. Pilarski *, E.D. Zepnewski*, D.J. Pierotti, and K.C. Nishikawa.  Storage and recovery of elastic potential energy powers ballistic prey capture in toads. J Exp Biol. Jul;209(Pt 13):2535-53, 2006.

Roy R., Pierotti, DJ, Garfinkel, A, Zhong, H., Baldwin, KM and VR Edgerton. Persistence of motor unit and muscle fiber types in the presence of inactivity. J. Exp. Biol. 211: 1041-1049,  2008.