Last fall, Saint Louis University (SLU) launched ‘Meet the Researcher’: a video series on YouTube featuring interviews with SLU faculty engaged in research. Koyal Garg, Ph.D. is an associate professor of biomedical engineering at SLU, who discussed her research on the enhancement of skeletal muscle regeneration and function following injury, disease, and aging. The following excerpts from her interview (shown left) are republished here with permission from Saint Louis University and were originally published in September at

“My first postdoctoral training was at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. There, I was exposed to what war can do to our military veterans. That was really inspiring because I could see through my research that I could make a real difference in the lives of these service members.”

Research Focus
“My research focuses on traumatic muscle injuries, volumetric muscle loss injuries (VML), in particular. These injuries involve an extensive loss of muscle tissue beyond the body’s natural capacity for regeneration. There are no approved therapies for VML, and these injuries are fairly common. You can get them from gunshot wounds or from car accidents. The goal of my lab is to develop biomaterial and stem-cell-based therapies to repair those large muscle defects. “

Excitement at SLU
“It’s not at all hard to stay excited about this research. Having a lot of industry leaders around is really beneficial. We have a startup that was launched by my students that is focusing on the commercialization and the clinical translation of some of these technologies. So it’s not that far away from actually benefiting patients.”

Working With Students
“The student population at SLU is great. They’re really motivated, they’re very hardworking, really excellent researchers. You know, it’s not just about transferring what I have learned. It’s also about getting them excited about these new ideas and sort of inspiring them to go out there and find solutions that are unique and innovative. Students are really the main goal of everything that we do here at SLU.”