Rene Vandenboom, PhD

Professor, Kinesiology

Office: WC 272
905 688 5550 x4726

I have been at Brock since 2004. I obtained my Ph.D. in Work Physiology (Faculty of Kinesiology) from the University of Waterloo in 1996. My postdoctoral training was done in the Department of Anesthesia, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, during 1996-1998.  From there I held positions in the Department of Anesthesia at St. Mary’s Hospital, Mayo Clinic (1998-2001) (Rochester MN), and the Department of Physiology, University of Michigan (2001-2004) in Ann Arbour. I have always been involved in athletics and much of my research is an offshoot of this interest.  

My work is motivated by the desire to better understand how our skeletal muscle mass contributes to organismal health over the lifespan. 

Although essential for terrestrial life, the role and importance of skeletal muscle function is often overlooked. My research interests are the structure-function relationships of skeletal muscle cells and the mechanics of skeletal muscle contraction.  

I am particularly interested in how activity dependent potentiation, the positive effect of muscle contraction on muscle force and power, and how this outcome may counter-balance fatigue to enhance athletic performance.   

In addition, more recent work from our lab, which is a member of Brock’s Centre for Bone and Muscle Health, has focused on the influence of estrogen hormone on muscle biochemistry and function.  

Future work will be geared toward an examination of how the contractile component of skeletal muscle may influence thermogenesis, i.e. the ability of our muscles to generate heat, under different environmental and dietary conditions.  

  • Ontario College of Kinesiology 
  • Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) 
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Overgaard K, Gittings W and Vandenboom R. Interactive effects of post tetanic potentiation and potassium-induced potentiation on contractile force of mouse fast muscle in vitro? Pflugers Archive: European Journal of Physiology 474(6):637-646 2022. 

Angelidis A, Gittings W, Fajardo V, Vandenboom R. The length dependence of twitch force potentiation in mouse muscle with and without myosin phosphorylation. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility 43(3): 99-111, 2022. 

Laidlaw R and Vandenboom R. Posttetanic Potentiation of Work Increases Neuromuscular Efficiency of Mouse Fast Muscle In Vitro. Physiological Reports 10(23): e15529, 2022. 

Pellegrino A, Tiidus PM and Vandenboom R. Mechanisms of estrogen influence in skeletal muscle: mass, regeneration and mitochondrial function. Sports Medicine ( (2022). 

Fillion M, Tiidus PM and Vandenboom R. Lack of Influence of Estrogen on Myosin Phosphorylation and Posttetanic Potentiation in Young Adult Mouse Muscle. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 97: 729–737, 2019. 

Gittings W, Bunda, J. and Vandenboom R.  Myosin Phosphorylation Mediated Potentiation Does Not Alter 

the Economy of Isovelocity Contractions in Mouse Fast Skeletal Muscle In VitroJournal of Experimental 

Biology 221(Pt 2). pii: jeb167742, 2018. 


Bunda JB, Gittings W and Vandenboom R.  Staircase Potentiation Increases Economy in Muscles With 

Myosin Phosphorylation.  Journal of Experimental Biology 221(Pt 2). pii: jeb167718, 2018.  


Morris S, Gittings W and Vandenboom R.  Effect of Beta-Adrenergic Stimulation on Posttetanic  

Potentiation of Wildtype and skMLCK Devoid Mouse Muscle.  Physiological Reports 6(9): 3690-3703, 2018. 

Vandenboom R. Force Modulation in Skeletal Muscle by Myosin Phosphorylation.  In: Pollack D (Ed) American Physiological Society. Comprehensive Physiology 7:171‐212, 2017. 

Bowslaugh JJ, Gittings W and Vandenboom R.  Myosin Phosphorylation is Required for Peak Power of Mouse Fast Muscle In Vitro.  Pflugers Archive: European Journal of Physiology  468(11): 2007-2016, 2016. 

Gittings W, Stull JT and Vandenboom R.  Interactions Betweent the The Catch Like Property and Posttetanic Potentiation of Mouse Skeletal Muscle. Muscle and Nerve 54(2): 308-316, 2016. 

Gittings W, Aggarwal H, Stull JT and Vandenboom R. The Force Dependence of Isometric and Concentric Potentiation in Mouse Muscles With and Without Myosin Light Chain Kinase. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 93(1):23-32, 2015. 

Smith IC, Vandenboom R and Tupling R.  Juxtaposition of the Changes in Intracellular Calcium and Force During Staircase Potentiation at 30 and 37oC. Journal of General Physiology 144(6):561-570, 2014. 

Vandenboom R, Gittings W, Smith IC, Grange RW and JT Stull. Myosin Phosphorylation and Force Potentiation in Skeletal Muscle: Evidence from Animal Models. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility 34(5-6): 317-332, 2013. 

Smith I, Gittings W, Bloemberg D, Huang J, Quadrialtero J, Tupling AR and Vandenboom R. Potentiation in Mouse Lumbrical Muscle Without Myosin Light Chain Phosphorylation: Is Resting Calcium Responsible? Journal of General Physiology 141(3): 297-308, 2013. 

Inglis G, Vandenboom R and Gabriel DG. Sex-Based Differences in Muscle Activation at Onset of Maximal Voluntary Contractions of Human Biceps Femoris Muscle. Journal of Clinical Biomechanics, 23: 1289-1294, 2013. 

Gittings W, Huang J. and Vandenboom, R.  Tetanic Force Potention of Mouse Fast Muscle is Shortening Speed Dependent. Journal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility 33(5): 359-368, 2012. 

  • Exercise Physiology 
  • Muscle Physiology
  • Exercise Prescription 
  • Training and Testing 
  • Ontario University Ball Hockey Association
  • Ontario Ball Hockey Federation 
  • Canadian Ball Hockey Association 
  • Coach and manager of the Brock Varsity Ball Hockey Club, Ontario University Ball Hockey Champions 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 seasons 

I offer research opportunities (MSc and PhD) in muscle physiology. Our lab investigates various aspects of skeletal muscle fatigue, muscle force potentiation and muscle thermogenesis. This experience includes both bench top laboratiory work and research direction. 

I offer opportunities to participate in muscle research at both the practical (lab work) and theoretical (directed research) levels.