David J. Marcinek, PhD, University of Washington
The overriding theme of all projects in the Marcinek lab is the role of mitochondria in chronic disease. David Marcinek received his Ph.D. from Stanford University studying muscle metabolism and myoglobin function in endothermic and ectothermic fish species. He then did a postdoctoral fellowship with Kevin Conley at the University of Washington where they developed NMR and optical spectroscopy tools to study the effects of age on in vivo skeletal muscle energetics. Since becoming faculty in the Department of Radiology at the University of Washington he has been focused on the role of mitochondria in pathologies associated with chronic disease and aging with a particular interest in the interaction between energetics, redox signaling, and physiology. This research perspective approaches mitochondria as a complex, dynamic organelle that regulates multiple aspects of cell physiology beyond simply meeting ATP demand. The Marcinek lab uses a strategy that combines in vivo animal performance measures, unique imaging and spectroscopy tools, and molecular and biochemical assays to integrate across multiple levels of organization in both humans and rodent models of disease. By combining in vivo spectroscopy with detailed mechanistic studies at the organelle and fiber levels we have revealed new insights into the dynamic regulation of mitochondria in health and disease, while contributing to the development of mitochondrial targeted interventions to improve quality of life in the elderly.
Title: Mitochondrial energetics of aging muscle: from organelle to in vivo