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Alex M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD Doctor of Philosophy


Cardiovascular Physiology, Metabolism, Pharmacology, Biochemistry, Mitochondria/Bioenergetics

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

The powerhouse of the cell and much much more!

The mitochondria are infamously known as the "powerhouse of the cell" for their ATP generating capabilities from the food that we eat. Although very important, mitochondria are also involved in a much wider range of activities in the cell and the body altogether. Furthermore, when mitochondria do not work properly (i.e. mitochondrial dysfunctional), this can lead the development of various pathologies where mitochondria are becoming favorable targets for drug development. Project Goal: Understand the additional roles of the mitochondria beyond ATP generation (reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, calcium homeostasis, programmed cell death) and how they may be involved in a physiologic or pathologic context for a review paper you would publish! Prerequisites: High school level background in both chemistry and biology.

Speaking from the heart

The heart is arguably the most important muscle in our body and in order to live a long and healthy life we should exercise to strengthen that muscle. There are two main forms of exercise; (i) endurance training (biking, walking, running, swimming, etc.), and (ii) resistance training (strength/weight training). The demand on the body and the heart specifically will differ depending on the form of training. Project Goal: First understand the cardiovascular system in our body and then understand how it may respond the types of exercise in the short and long term. Optional Goal: Perform light, moderate, and heavy exercise while measuring heart rate to understand the hemodynamic response of the heart.

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