The Vechetti Laboratory investigates skeletal muscle regulation in the contexts of exercise, aging, and diseases. We are also actively investigating skeletal muscle-derived extracellular vesicles in the context of exercise and inflammatory diseases.  


Our group is interested in understanding how skeletal muscle mass is regulated during exercise and how it regulates whole-body adaptations following exercise. Specifically, we are focusing on:

  1. EV biology (biogenesis, cargo, and uptake).
  2. Metabolic pathways associated with muscle growth (e.g., Pentose Phosphate Pathway).
  3. The role of miRNAs in skeletal muscle.

Ivan J. Vechetti Jr. Assistant Professor of Extracellular Vesicles

Lab Members

Filipe Guimaraes Goulart, Undergraduate Student
Research: MicroRNAs and skeletal muscle adaptation

Filipe is a junior majoring in nutrition, exercise, and health sciences at UNL. He joined the Vechetti Laboratory in the fall of 2021 as an undergraduate research volunteer. He has successfully obtained funding from UCARE.

Mariah McCashland, Laboratory Assistant 
Research: Identifying the role of miRNAs to skeletal muscle adaptation

In December of 2022, Mariah graduated with a Master of Science in biochemical and molecular nutrition from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is now pursuing a medical degree in pediatrics. 

As a volunteer laboratory assistant with the Vechetti Lab, Mariah uses transgenic animal models to test the hypothesis that miRNAs are essential for skeletal muscle hypertrophy, atrophy, and aging.

Raechel Sherrick, Ph.D. Student
Research: Metabolism and extracellular vesicles in Thirteen-lined ground squirrel

Raechel is a Ph.D. student at UNL and received her Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science from Truman State University. She joined Dr. Vechetti's lab as a Graduate Research Assistant in the spring of 2022.

Former Lab Members

Shengyi Fei

Graduate Research Assistant, 2021-2023

Shengyi graduated with a master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2023. He is now embarking on a new and exciting journey towards a Ph.D. in the biomedical field at the Molecular & Cellular Biology department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Tesha Kerr

Graduate Research Assistant, 2021-2023

Tesha graduated with her master's degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in May 2023 and plans to continue working in the research field. 

Blake Rule
Undergraduate Research Assistant, Spring-Summer 2021

Temporary Worker, 2021-2023

Blake graduated in May 2021 with a nutrition science Bacherlor's degree and a minor in business administration. He continued a non-degree seeking post baccalaureate in Fall of 2021 and Spring 2022 and is now pursuing a Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 

 In the News

How Weight Training Burns Fat - The New York Times, July 21, 2021

 Selected Publications


  1. Wen Y, Vechetti IJ Jr, Alimov AP, Valentino T, Hoffman JF, Vergara VB, Kalinich JF, Zhang XD, McCarthy JJ, and Peterson CA. Early transcriptomic signatures and biomarkers of renal damage due to prolonged exposure to embedded metal. Cell Biology and Toxicology, 2023. DOI: 10.1007/s10565-023-09806-9
  2. Lim S, Lee D, Silva FM, Koopmans PJ, Vechetti IJ, Walden FV, Greene NP, Murach KA. MicroRNA Control of the Myogenic Cell Transcriptome and Proteome: The Role of miR-16. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol, 2023. DOI: 10.1152/ajpcell.00071.2023
  3. Verboven K and Vechetti IJ. Editorial -Inter-organ crosstalk during exercise in health and disease: extracellular vesicles as new kids on the block. Frontiers in Physiology, 2023. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2023.1180972
  4. Ismaeel A, Van Pelt DW, Hettinger ZR, Vechetti IJ, Fu X, Richards C, Butterfield TA, Drummond M, Dupont-Versteegden EE. Extracellular vesicle distribution and localization in skeletal muscle at rest and following disuse atrophy. Skeletal Muscle, 2023. Mar 10;13(1):6. DOI: 10.1186/s13395-023-00315-1


  1. Abraham Nilsson, Anna Maria Nerhall, Ivan Vechetti, Lotta Fornander, Simon Wiklund, Bjorn Alkner, Jorg Schilcher, Ferdinand von Walden -A prophylactic subcutaneous dose of the anticoagulant tinzaparin does not influence qPCR-based assessment of circulating levels of miRNA in humans. PLOS ONE. November 2022. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0277008
  2. Leticia Estevam Engel, Francilene Lima Agostinho de Souza, Ines Cristina Giometti, Katashi Okoshi, Thaoan Bruno Mariano, Natalia Zamberlan Ferreira, Dyovana Gomes Pinheiro, Rafael Stuani Floriano, Andreo Fernando Aguiar, Antônio Carlos Cicogna, Ivan José Vechetti Jr, Francis LopesPacagnelli -The high-intensity interval training mitigates the cardiac remodeling in spontaneously hypertensive rats. ScienceDirect. September 2022. doi:10.1016/j.lfs.2022.120959
  3. Henning Wackerhage, Ivan J. Vechetti, Philipp Baumert, Sebastian Gehlert, Lore Becker, Richard T. Jaspers & Martin Hrabe de Angelis -Does a Hypertrophying Muscle Fibre Reprgramme its Metabolism Similar to a Cancer Cell? SpringerLink. April 2022. doi:10.1007.s40279-022-01676-1
  4. Vechetti IJ, Norrbom J, Alkner B, Hjalmarsson E, Palmcrantz A, Pontén E, Pingel J, von Walden F, Fernandez-Gonzalo R. Extracellular vesicle characteristics and microRNA content in cerebral palsy and typically developed individuals at rest and in response to aerobic exercise. Frontiers in Physiology, 2022. DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2022.1072040


  1. Valentino TR, Figueiredo VC, Mobley CB, McCarthy JJ, Vechetti IJ Jr. -Evidence of myomiR regulation of the pentose phosphate pathway during mechanical load-induced hypertrophy. Physiological Reports. December 2021. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15137
  2. Valentino TR, Vechetti IJ Jr, Mobley CB, Dungan C, Golden LR, Gho J, McCarthy JJ. -Dysbiosis of the Gut Microbiome Impairs Skeletal Muscle Adaptation to Exercise. The Journal of Physiology. September 2021. doi:10.1113/JP281788
  3. Vechetti IJ Jr*, Wen Y*, Hoffman JF, Alimov AP, Vergara VB, Kalinich JF, Gaitens JM, Hines SE, McDiarmid MA, McCarthy JJ & Peterson CA. -Urine miRNAs as potential biomarkers for systemic reactions induced by exposure to embedded metal. Biomarkers in Medicine. September 2021. doi: 10.2217/bmm-2021-0120
  4. Valentino TR, Rule BD, Mobley CB, Nikolova-Karakashian M, Vechetti IJ. -Skeletal Muscle Cell Growth Alters the Lipid Composition of Extracellular Vesicles. Membranes (Basel). 2021 Aug 12;11(8):619. doi: 10.3390/membranes11080619
  5. von Walden F*, Vechetti IJ Jr*, Englund D, Figueiredo VC, Fernandez-Gonzalo R, Murach KA, Pingel J, McCarthy JJ, Stål P, Pontén E. -Reduced mitochondrial DNA and OXPHOS protein content in skeletal muscle of children with cerebral palsy. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology. June 2021. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.14964
  6. Figueiredo VC, Wen Y, Alkner B, Fernandez-Gonzalo R, Norrbom J, Vechetti IJ Jr, Valentino T, Mobley CB, Zentner GE, Peterson CA, McCarthy JJ, Murach KA, von Walden F. -Genetic and Epigenetic Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Ribosome Biogenesis with Exercise. J Physiol. 2021 Apr 29. doi: 10.1113/JP281244
  7. Vechetti IJ Jr, Peck BD, Wen Y, Walton RG, Alimov AP, Valentino TR, Dungan CM, Van Pelt DW, von Walden F, Alkner B, Peterson CA and McCarthy JJ. -Mechanical overload-induced muscle-derived extracellular vesicles promote adipose lipolysis. FASEB J. 2021 Jun;35(6):e21644. doi: 10.1096/fj.202100242R
  8. Vann CG, Morton RW, Mobley CB, Vechetti IJ Jr, Ferguson BK, Haun CT, Osburn SC, Sexton CL, Fox C, Oikawa SY, McGlory C, Young KC, Phillips SM, McCarthy JJ, Roberts MD. -An intron variant of the GLI Family Zinc Finger 3 (GLI3) gene differentiates resistance training-induced muscle fiber hypertrophy in younger men. FASEB J. 2021 May;35(5):e21587. doi: 10.1096/fj.202100113RR
  9. Murach KA, Peck BD, Policastro RA, Vechetti IJ Jr, Van Pelt DW, Dungan CM, Denes LT, Fu X, Brightwell CR, Zentner GE, Dupont-Versteegden EE, Richards CI, Wang ET, Smith JJ, Fry CS, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Early Satellite Cell Communication Creates a Permissive Environment for Long-Term Hypertrophic Growth. iScience. 2021 Mar 29;24(4):102372. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2021.102372. eCollection 2021 Apr 23.


  1. Mobley CB, Vechetti IJ Jr, Valentino TR, McCarthy JJ. -CORP: The use of transgenic mice for studying skeletal muscle physiology. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2020 May 1;128(5):1227-1239. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00021.2020
  2. Vechetti IJ Jr, Valentino TR, Mobley CB, McCarthy JJ. -The role of extracellular vesicles in skeletal muscle and systematic adaption to exercise. J Physiol. 2020 Jan 15. doi: 10.1113/JP278929
  3. Wen Y, Vechetti IJ Jr, Alimov AP, Hoffman JF, Vergara VB, Kalinich JF, McCarthy JJ, and Peterson CA. -Time course analysis of the effect of embedded metal on skeletal muscle gene expression. Physiol Genomics. 2020 Oct 5. doi: 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00096.2020
  4. Dungan CM, Valentino TR, Vechetti IJ Jr, Zdunek CJ, Murphy MP, Lin A, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Exercise-mediated alteration of hippocampal Dicer mRNA and miRNAs is associated with lower BACE1 gene expression and Aβ1-42 in female 3xTg-AD mice. Journal of Neurophysiology, 2020. doi: 10.1152/jn.00503.2020
  5. Wen Y, Vechetti IJ Jr, Valentino TR, McCarthy JJ. -High-Yield Skeletal Muscle Protein Recovery from TRIzol® after RNA and DNA Extraction. BioTechniques. 2020 Aug 11. doi: 10.2144/btn-2020-0083
  6. Van Pelt D, Vechetti IJ Jr, Lawrence M, Van Pelt K, Patel P, Miller B, Butterfield T, and Dupont-Versteegden E. -Serum extracellular vesicle miR-203a-3p content is associated with skeletal muscle mass and protein turnover during disuse atrophy and regrowth. American Journal of Physiology Cell Physiology. 2020 Aug 1;319(2):C419-C431. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00223.2020
  7. Murach KA, Vechetti IJ Jr, Van Pelt DW, Crow SE, Dungan CM, Figueiredo VC, Kosmac K, Fu X, Richards CI, Fry CS, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Fusion-Independent Satellite Cell Communication to Muscle Fibers During Load-Induced Hypertrophy. Functions. 2020;1(1): zqaa009. doi: 10.1093/function/zqaa009
  8. Fernandez GF, Ferreira JH, Vechetti IJ Jr, Moraes LN, Cury SS, Freire PP, Gutierrez J, Ferretti R, Dal-Pai-Silva M, Rogatto Sr and Carvalho RF. -MicroRNA-mRNA co-sequencing identifies transcriptional and posttranscriptional regulatory networks underlying muscle wasting in cancer cachexia. Frontiers in Genetics. 2020 May 29;11:541. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2020.00541
  9. Englund D, Murach KA, Dungan CM, Figueiredo VC, Vechetti IJ Jr, Dupont-Versteegden E, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Depletion of resident muscle stem cells negatively impacts running volume, physical function, and muscle hypertrophy in response to lifelong physical activity. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2020 Apr 22. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00090.2020


  1. Figueiredo VC, Englund DA, Vechetti IJ Jr, Alimov A, Peterson CA, McCarthy JJ. -Phosphorylation of eIF4E is dispensable for skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2019 Oct 9. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00380.2019
  2. Hoffman JF, Vechetti IJ Jr, Alimov AP, Kalinich JF, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Hydrophobic sand is a viable method of urine collection from the rat for extracellular vesicle biomarker analysis. Mol Genet Metab Rep. 2019. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgmr.2019.100505
  3. Parry HA, Mobley CB, Mumford PW, Romero MA, Haun CT, Zhang Y, Roberson PA, Zempleni J, Ferrando AA, Vechetti IJ Jr, McCarthy JJ, Young KC, Roberts MD, Kavazis AN. -Bovine Milk Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) Modification Elicits Skeletal Muscle Growth in Rats. Front Physiol. 2019. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00436
  4. Vechetti IJ Jr, Wen Y, Chaillou T, Murach KA, Alimov AP, Figueiredo VC, Dal-Pai-Silva M, McCarthy JJ. -Life-long reduction in myomiR expression does not adversely affect skeletal muscle morphology. Scientific Reports. 2019. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41476-8
  5. Dungan CM, Murach KA, Frick KK, Jones SR, Crow SE, Englund DA, Vechetti IJ, Jr, Figuieredo VC, Levitan BM, Satin J, McCarthy JJ, Peterson CA. -Elevated Myonuclear Density During Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy In Response to Training Is Reversed During Detraining. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2019. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00050.2019


  1. Clotilde T, et al. -Minimal information for studies of extracellular vesicles 2018 (MISEV2018): a position statement of the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles and update of the MISEV2014 guidelines. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles, Volume 7, Nov. 2018 - Issue 1, DOI: 10.1080/20013078.2018.1535750