Venessa Bibeau

Venessa Bibeau
Mentor: Dr. Donovan Lott
College of Public Health and Health Professions
"The karate school I trained at is actively involved in raising money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association through annual silent auctions, carnivals, and kick-a-thons. I participated in these volunteer activities since I was about 7 years old so I had a basic understanding of neuromuscular diseases and had met other children diagnosed with various forms of muscular dystrophy. When I discovered there was a lab investigating outcome measures for Duchennes muscular dystrophy (DMD) I decided to take my philanthropy a step further. It is my hope that the lab’s research and my contributions will assist clinicians treating boys with DMD as well as scientists striving to discover interventions to prolong the ability of boys with DMD to remain ambulatory."


Health Science



Research Interests

  • Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy
  • Muscle Pathology Progression
  • Clinical Outcome Measures

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • President's Honor Roll
  • Anderson Scholar
  • Most Dedicated Director in the Inter-Residence Hall Association


  • L.E.A.P.
  • Inter-Residence Hall Association
  • Health Science Student Organization


  • Muscular Dystrophy Association
  • TOPSoccer
  • Habitat for Humanity

Hobbies and Interests

  • Swimming
  • Reading
  • Martial Arts
  • Nutrition

Research Description

MR Spectroscopy and Functional Measures in Boys with DMD 6 – 12 Months prior to Loss of Ambulation

The purpose of my study is to investigate how physical activity, intramuscular fat infiltration, and the 6MWT may predict the loss of ambulation in boys with DMD who are taking corticosteroids. We will compare these outcome measures in DMD boys who have been participating in a longitudinal study. Once the subjects have become non-ambulatory, we will examine these variables at the yearly timepoint prior to becoming nonambulatory to determine which variables appear to be the best predictor(s) for the loss of walking ability. MR Imaging and MR Spectroscopy (MRI and MRS) will be used to examine lower extremity skeletal muscle and fat infiltration. The 6MWT will be assessed as per clinical guidelines in a timed functional test. Physical activity will be assessed via waist-worn accelerometers that the subjects will wear in their home environment.