Principal Investigator


Dr. Damien Callahan – Damien completed his Ph.D. in Kinesiology at The University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011 where he studied age-related differences in muscle fatigability. Thereafter, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, studying the effects of age and disuse on muscle contractile function. He began a tenure track faculty position at the University of Oregon in 2017. Damien is interested in the role of muscle plasticity on clinical rehabilitation outcomes and the links between intracellular metabolic function and muscle contractile performance. When he’s not in the lab he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

Research Coordinator

Marlee Fruto- Marlee has a long-standing interest in the field of medicine. She received her Masters Degree in Chemistry from the University of Oregon this past year and graduated magna cum laude from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (CPP) in 2017 with a BS in Chemistry, emphasis in Biochemistry. During her time in undergraduate, she went to EMT school and participated in medical missions to Panama and Nicaragua. She was also the founder and president of the Global Brigades (Medical) chapter at CPP and organized a medical mission to Nicaragua in 2017 for 26 of her peers. Marlee is excited to continue her involvement in the field of medicine as a Research Coordinator under the direction of Dr. Callahan as she prepares to apply to medical school this year. Marlee’s ultimate career goal is to one day become a surgeon.

Graduate Students


Grace Privett- After earning her BS in Kinesiology from USC and her MS in Kinesiology with an emphasis in biomechanics, Grace is pursuing her PhD. in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. Ultimately, she aims to teach and conduct research that will improve rehabilitation outcomes for special populations such as older adults and amputees.  Luckily, her interest in human physiology extends beyond her academic work: she is a triathlete (actively competitive for 10 years) and an outdoors enthusiast.  In her spare time, she can be found trail running, cycling, or training for the Tour de Donut




Scott Mongold- Scott is originally from Maryland and graduated with a Bachelors degree in Biopsychology from Tufts University. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. In addition to his love of muscle biology, he enjoys staying active, skiing, traveling and cooking.




Austin Ricci- Coming fall of 2019!! Austin is from Santa Barbara, California and recently completed a Bachelors degree in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon. Through his course work here at the UO, and through his time working in the muscle biology lab, he has solidified his ultimate goal to continue researching. He begins his graduate work in the fall of 2019 to pursue a Ph.D. in Human Physiology at the University of Oregon!

Undergraduate/Post-Bacc Research Assistants


Jessica Meechan- Jessica is originally from the Bay Area, specifically Pleasanton, California. She recently completed a Bachelors degree in Human Physiology and a minor in Chemistry. During her sophomore year of high school, she fractured both of her tibias while on the track team, which ultimately sparked her interest in the field of medicine. Her next academic milestone is the MCAT, which she plans to take next June with the ultimate goal of practicing medicine as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon.




Thomas Fate- Thomas is from Southern Oregon and recently graduated with a Bachelors’s degree in Human Physiology and a minor in Chemistry from UO. His enjoyment of physical activities has propelled him toward the field of physiology and medicine. He has been a vital addition to the lab, participating in ongoing projects including rolling lab meetings. Thomas plans to continue gaining research and practical experience for his remaining time in Eugene.



Wesley Force- Wesley was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon in 2017 with a Bachelors degree in Human Physiology. With the ultimate goal of attending medical school, Wesley has accumulated a number of clinical experiences including working as a Certified Nursing Assistant and medical scribe. When he’s not helping out in the lab, he volunteers and serves on the board of directors at Occupy Medical, a free clinic in Springfield, Oregon, and hopes to practice medicine in underserved communities.





Faith Longnight- Faith grew up in Eugene. She is a sophomore working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with an emphasis in Human Physiology, and minors in Chemistry, Global Health, and Psychology. A dance injury that resulted in two knee surgeries solidified her love for medicine. Her goal is to go to medical school and become a pediatric surgeon. In her spare time, Faith loves to dance, paint, and hang out with friends.



Riley Smart- Riley grew up in Gig Harbor, WA and recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Physiology (minor in Chemistry). Riley is interested in a career as a Physician’s Assistant and plans to split his time between the lab and working as a CNA this Fall.



If you’re interested in learning more about joining the Muscle Cellular Biology Laboratory, send Dr. Callahan an e-mail. Potential graduate students can apply to the Human Physiology major at the University of Oregon.