We begin with two senior PhD students under the supervision of Dr. David Hood, Ashley Oliveira and Jonathan Memme. Ashley and Jonathan primarily investigate how mitochondria in the skeletal muscle are regulated and maintained, as well as how they adapt in response to various disease and exercise conditions.
Ashley mainly focuses on mitophagy, or how mitochondria are recycled in the cell. She looks at the role of two transcription factors, TFEB and TFE3, in mediating exercise-induced adaptations, and investigates how their absence impacts the typical adaptations that are seen within skeletal muscle mitochondria. The MHRC provides Ashley with a variety of instruments that allow her to dive deep into mitochondrial bioenergetics and function.
In contrast, Jonathan focuses on P53, a protein that acts as a tumor suppressor. However, Jonathan is more so interested in how P53 acts as a metabolic regulator and how it mediates mitochondrial respiration, function, and turnover. To elucidate these mechanisms, he investigates bioenergetics in vivo, and employs techniques like western blotting and qPCR.