Silvia Blemker headshot
SB

Silvia S. Blemker

Professor
Unit: School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department: Department of Biomedical Engineering
Office location and address
MR5, Room 2231
415 Lane Rd
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
Education
B.S. ​Northwestern University, 1997
M.S. ​Northwestern University, 1999
Ph.D. Stanford University, 2004​
Post-Doc Stanford Simbios Center Biomedical Computation​, 2004-2005
Biography

Dr. Blemker is from Lawrence, Kansas. She did her undergraduate and Master’s work in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University, and her PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. She is broadly interested in muscle mechanics & physiology, multi-scale modeling, mentoring students, and teaching.

The Multiscale Muscle Mechanophysiology (“M3”) lab is collectively fascinated by skeletal muscles, which are the motors for all the wide range of voluntary movements in the human body. Each muscle’s properties are beautifully tuned for a specific function in the body, which can be easily disrupted by diseases such as muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or in aging populations. We seek to gain new insights into the form, function, biology, and diseases of muscles. Our work has the ultimate goal of improving treatments and quality of life for individuals suffering from muscle-related clinical problems. We integrate a variety of computational and experimental approaches to achieve this goal.

A quantitative framework to examine sex differences in musculoskeletal scaling and function
Source: U.S. NIH Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal &
September 01, 2021 – August 31, 2026
Clinical Translation of Advanced Technologies for Muscle and Nerve Regeneration
Source: U.S. DOD - Army - Medical Research Acquisition Act
September 01, 2020 – August 31, 2025
Biotechnology Training Program
Source: U.S. NIH Institute of General Medical Science
July 01, 2020 – June 30, 2025
EN-BME Multiscale Modeling for Treatment Discovery in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Source: U.S. NIH Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal &
September 09, 2016 – August 31, 2022
Influence of Age-Related Changes in Tendon on Motor Performance
Source: University Of Wisconsin
April 01, 2016 – March 31, 2022
Exploring the role of skeletal muscle glycosaminoglycans in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Source: The Hartwell Foundation
July 01, 2019 – June 30, 2021
EN-BME-MRI-based computer models of DMD gait to explain selective muscle degeneration
Source: U.S. NIH Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal &
March 01, 2016 – February 28, 2019
Improving the Lives of Children with Birth Defects Through Advanced Physics-based Computer SImulation
Source: The Hartwell Foundation
April 01, 2012 – March 31, 2018
EN-BME MRI-Based Modeling to Understand Anatomical Basis of Velopharyngeal Dysnfunction
Source: U.S. NIH Institute on Deafness & Other Communicati
April 01, 2015 – March 31, 2018
EN-BME Development of a Muscle Adaptation in Space-Flight Simulation
Source: U.S. Nasa - Glenn
September 01, 2016 – September 30, 2017
EN-BME A Computational Framework for Predicting Skeletal Muscle Adaptation Following Surgical Procedures
Source: U.S. NSF - Directorate For Engineering
September 01, 2012 – August 31, 2016
EN-BME Computational Model to Illuminate the Mechanics of the Accommodation Mechanism of the Eye
Source: Ace Vision Group, Inc.
October 01, 2014 – August 31, 2016
Influence of Muscle-Tendon Dynamics on Locomotion Mechanics and Performance
Source: University Of Wisconsin
April 01, 2016 – August 31, 2016
EN-BME STTR Phase I: Big Muscle Data Tool That Transforms Athletic Training
Source: Springbok, Inc.
July 01, 2014 – December 31, 2015
EN-BME Computational Model to Illuminate the Mechanics of the Accomodation Mechanism of the Eye-CLOSED
Source: Google Inc.
October 01, 2014 – September 30, 2015
BME 1501: Special Topics
Credits: 1
Student led special topic courses which vary by semester
BME 2220: Biomechanics
Credits: 3
Introduction to principles of continuum mechanics of biological tissues and systems. Topics include development of selected fundamental methods and results from statics and strength of materials, continuum mechanics, free-body diagrams, and constitutive equations of biological materials. Properties of blood vessels, heart, bone, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, blood, and other tissues. Mechanical basis and effects of pathology and trauma. Prerequisites: APMA 2130, BME 2101, or permission of instructor
MAE 4280: Motion Biomechanics
Credits: 3
Focuses on the study of forces (and their effects) that act on the musculoskeletal structures of the human body. Based on the foundations of functional anatomy and engineering mechanics (rigid body and deformable approaches); students are exposed to clinical problems in orthopedics and rehabilitation. Cross-listed as BIOM 4280. Prerequisite: MAE 2310 and 2320.
BME 4280: Motion Biomechanics
Credits: 3
Focuses on the study of forces (and their effects) that act on the musculoskeletal structures of the human body. Based on the foundations of functional anatomy and engineering mechanics (rigid body and deformable approaches); students are exposed to clinical problems in orthopedics and rehabilitation. Prerequisite: BME 2101, 2220, or instructor permission.
BME 4995: Biomedical Engineering Advanced Projects
Credits: 1–3
A year-long research project in biomedical engineering conducted in consultation with a department faculty advisor; usually related to ongoing faculty research. Includes the design, execution, and analysis of experimental laboratory work and computational or theoretical computer analysis of a problem. Requires a comprehensive report of the results. Prerequisite: third- or fourth-year standing, and instructor permission.
BME 6280: Motion Biomechanics
Credits: 3
Focuses on the study of forces (and their effects) that act on the musculoskeletal structures of the human body. Based on the foundations of functional anatomy and engineering mechanics (rigid body and deformable approaches); students are exposed to clinical problems in orthopedics and rehabilitation. Cross-listed as AM 6280. Prerequisite: BME 6103.
BME 8995: M.E. Supervised Project Research (M.E. STUDENTS ONLY)
Credits: 1–6
FOR M.E. STUDENTS ONLY. A research project in biomedical engineering conducted in consultation with a faculty advisor. Includes the design, execution, and analysis of experimental laboratory work and computational or theoretical computer analysis of a problem. Fulfills the project requirement for the Biomedical Engineering Masters of Engineering degree. Prerequisites: Instructor Permission Required.
BME 8999: Master's Research
Credits: 1–12
Master's Research
MAE 8999: Master's Thesis Research, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Credits: 1–12
Formal documentation of faculty supervision of thesis research. Each full-time, resident Master of Science student in mechanical and aerospace engineering is required to register for this course for the number of credits equal to the difference between his or her regular course load (not counting the one-credit MAE 7510 seminar) and 12.
MAE 9999: Dissertation Research, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Credits: 1–12
Formal documentation of faculty supervision of dissertation research. Each full-time resident doctoral student in mechanical and aerospace engineering is required to register for this course for the number of credits equal to the difference between his or her regular course load (not counting the one-credit MAE 8591 seminar) and 12.
BME 9999: Dissertation
Credits: 1–12
Formal record of student commitment to doctoral research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. May be repeated as necessary.

Commonwealth Endowed Associate Professorship in Engineering 2013

The Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award 2012

Journal of Biomechanics Award (w/ B. Sharafi), American Society of Biomechanics 2010

UVA University Teaching Fellowship 2009