Ashley Smuder

Ashley Smuder
Neuromuscular Plasticity Training Program

Research Interests

Mechanical ventilation (MV) is used clinically to sustain pulmonary gas exchange in patients that are incapable of maintaining adequate alveolar ventilation. It is well established that prolonged MV results in the rapid onset of proteolysis leading to both diaphragmatic atrophy and contractile dysfunction. Importantly, MV-induced diaphragmatic weakness increases the difficulty of weaning patients from MV. Given the large number of patients that experience difficulty weaning from MV, understanding the mechanism(s) that contribute to MV-induced diaphragmatic weakness is important. Therefore, Ashley’s research objective is to investigate the signaling pathways that may contribute to MV-induced diaphragmatic wasting. Determining the pathways responsible for MV-induced diaphragmatic weakness is an essential step toward developing effective approaches to oppose this damaging process. Ashley’s experiments will provide important mechanistic information, which can be used to develop effective clinical therapies to retard MV-induced diaphragmatic weakness and hopefully, decrease problems with weaning from MV.

Degrees and Training

  • BS, Exercise Physiology, University of Florida
  • MS, Exercise Physiology, University of Florida