The research could lead to treatment for "terrible diseases where people have weak connective tissues and they can't support their own weight," Szulgit says. Those diseases include Ehlers-Danlos' Syndrome, Alport's Syndrome, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, and Marfan's Syndrome.
All of those cause connective tissues to "fall apart," Szulgit says, "and we don't know why."
Ligaments stretch too far, putting enormous strain on arteries which carry blood vital to human life, and the arteries "eventually blow out," he says. That leads to an early death.
And that's why Szulgit studies sea cucumbers. He's not really all that wild about helping out the Hulk, although the movie does open with Hulk's old man, Banner, experimenting with sea cucumbers.
That adds a little authenticity to the movie, although Szulgit says most of the science in the film is "really awful."
Even Szulgit can't figure out how to stretch to twice his size, and then shrink back to an ordinary biology professor, without ripping his body to pieces.
And that's a shame because it would probably come in really handy when he hands out grades to students who spent too much time at the movies.
Lee Dye’s column appears weekly on ABCNEWS.com. A former science writer for the Los Angeles Times, he now lives in Juneau, Alaska.