Kevin P. Campbell, PhD, joined the University of Iowa faculty in 1981 where he became a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator in 1989 and Director of the Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Specialized Research Center in 2005. Dr. Campbell is internationally known for his neuromuscular disease research. His work has led to the identification of the molecular and genetic basis of several forms of muscular dystrophy and provided a clearer understanding of muscular dystrophy disease processes. His findings have already greatly improved the diagnosis of muscular dystrophy, and they point to strategies for developing therapies for these devastating inherited neuromuscular diseases. Dr. Campbell’s work has been recognized both nationally and internationally, including the INSERM/Academie de Sciences Prix, the Amgen Award, the Duchenne-Erb-Preis Award, MDA Scientific Achievement Award, and the March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. Dr. Campbell was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2002, the National Academy of Sciences in 2004, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2006. In 2016, he was elected as a Lifetime Achievement Fellow by the American Society for Cell Biology. Dr. Campbell also is the recipient of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 2020 Herbert Tabor Research Award.

Research Interests

Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding the molecular, cellular and physiological basis of various forms of muscular dystrophy, and on developing therapeutic strategies to treat these diseases. My early studies at the University of Iowa focused on elucidating the structure and function of calcium channels and calcium release channels (ryanodine receptors) in skeletal muscle. For the past twenty years, however, my laboratory has actively investigated the molecular pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy. We have used biochemical, cell biological, genetic and physiological techniques to identify and define disease mechanisms that cause various forms of muscular dystrophy. We cloned and characterized dystroglycan, and demonstrated that it links the cytoskeleton to the extracellular matrix in skeletal muscle. My studies on dystroglycan have since led to significant insights into its basic function as an extracellular matrix receptor in skeletal muscle, its role in the maintenance of muscle-cell membrane integrity and its role in the molecular pathogenesis of glycosylation-deficient muscular dystrophy.

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Primary Section

Section 42: Medical Physiology and Metabolism

Secondary Section

Section 23: Physiology and Pharmacology