Research Team

Lab Director

LaDora V. Thompson, PhD, is the Travis M. Roy Endowed Professor in Rehabilitation Sciences in the Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training at Boston University Sargent college .A physical therapist and muscle physiologist, Dr. Thompson is the director of the Skeletal Muscle Physiology Laboratory and is considered a leader in the field of sarcopenia (muscle dysfunction with aging). Her research team seeks to translate basic science discoveries into potential therapeutic strategies to combat sarcopenia and frailty. Dr. Thompson pioneered studies linking alterations in protein structure and function with single skeletal muscle fiber weakness and slowing of contraction. She identified post-translational modifications of key muscle proteins with aging and disease, such as diabetes. Recently, Dr. Thompson’s research team was the first to create the mouse frailty phenotype to identify frail mice. This mouse frailty phenotype parallels the frailty phenotype used by physical therapists in their practices.

Dr. Thompson has been invited to present her work at national and international institutions. She has organized and chaired international conferences on aging and oxidative stress and belongs to the editorial board of scientific journals. Dr. Thompson has served on NIH advisory panels, including special emphasis panels, and study sections.

With more than 20 years in the field, she has made a commitment to training the next generation of great scientists – including more than 30 undergraduate, doctoral, and post-doctoral students – and in particular, developing the careers of translational scientists.

Come and join the Thompson research team!


Research Fellow

Lais Perazza, PhD, received her bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where she enrolled in a Scientific Initiation program to study vascular physiology. She soon became interested in understanding the relationship between metabolic dysfunction and the cardiovascular system and was admitted to an accelerated passage to the PhD at Laval University in Quebec City, Canada. While at Laval University, Lais investigated the impact of distinct dietary interventions in cardiometabolic features of mice. Dr. Perazza then joined the laboratory of Professor LaDora Thompson, where she transitioned to studying the involvement of current biological theories of aging and tissue adaptation to the progression of frailty. Her main goal is to decipher the biological aspects involved in frailty and potential therapeutic strategies to prevent, delay or reverse it.


Research Associates

Laura Verdi, BA, graduated from Western New England University in 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Neuroscience, where she participated in research into the mechanisms of olfactory sensory neuron regeneration upon the knockout of a particular ion channel. She is currently finishing up her Master’s in Biology through the University of Southern Maine where she studied the effects of toxins on the neural development of fruit flies. She is writing up her thesis remotely so wish her luck! Laura’s scientific passions revolve around neurodevelopment, aging, and she just gets super, super jazzed about evolution.


Baylah Mazonson, BA, graduated from Boston University in 2022 with a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and a minor in Biology. She is interested in the biological progression of frailty and is pursuing a career in research.




Jenny (Yuhoung) Kim, BA, graduated from Boston University in 2024 with a Bachelor’s in Biology and minor in Engineering Science. She is interested in biomedical engineering and lab techniques. She also enjoys working with the geriatric mice as they are very cute!




Undergraduate Students

Parth Shah is an Undergraduate Research Assistant majoring in neuroscience on the pre-medical track. He currently works alongside his lab partners and assists with various lab duties. His research interests in sarcopenia and age-related muscular frailty align with his desire to become a Sports Medicine doctor.


Nicholas Yuen is an Undergraduate Research Assistant majoring in Human Physiology at Sargent College (pre-med track). Before working in Dr. Thompson’s lab, he gained experience working in Mount Sinai’s department of Infectious Disease, where he acquired skills from running ELISA tests to immunoblotting viral proteins.


Ava Camarero is an Undergraduate Research Assistant majoring in Human Physiology at Sargent College. In the Thompson Lab, she assists with protocols and conducting experiments. She hopes to continue on this path and pursue a career in clinical research after graduating from BU.



Llogan Caron is an undergraduate research assistant majoring in Human Physiology on the pre-med track. Llogan is currently working as an EMT and an EMS Instructor for Boston University EMS. He gained experience volunteering for Life In Balance under the direction of Paul Ianuzzi, assisting people with Parkinson’s Disease, movement disorders, and memory loss. He hopes to continue researching under the direction of Dr. LaDora Thompson throughout his undergraduate years and proceed to medical school.