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Washington State University
The Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering

Faculty & Staff

Bert Tanner, PhD

Bert Tanner

Bert Tanner, Ph.D.
Adjunct Associate Professor

Normal, mutated, and diseased proteins that influence muscle contraction and relaxation

Dr. Tanner’s web page at the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine


PO Box 647620
205 Veterinary and Biomedical Research
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-7620


My research focuses on normal, mutated, and diseased proteins that influence muscle contraction and relaxation. I integrate mathematical modeling, computational simulations, and experimental analyses to investigate complex network behavior among muscle proteins that underlie contractile function at the cellular and tissue level. By applying these techniques to a variety of muscle preparations I capitalize on functional diversity among species and diseases to better characterize the role of muscle in locomotion and heart disease.


Most recently my research has focused on the structural and functional relationship of thick filament proteins that underlie force and motion generation in cardiac muscle. This work has capitalized on protein mutations that alter muscle organization, leading to dysfunctional contractility and heart disease. Earlier research focused on the molecular determinants of strain-dependent muscle behavior in fruit flies, which represents a critical characteristic of powered flight and may also augment contractile efficiency of the heart on a beat-to-beat basis. My PhD dissertation focused on the molecular mechanisms that regulate skeletal muscle contraction. Many exciting collaborations continue to motivate an ever evolving set of studies using multi-disciplinary research approaches to tackle difficult physiological problems across multiple biological scales.


  • B.S., Physics – University of Utah – 2001
  • Ph.D., Bioengineering – University of Washington – 2007