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Monday, November 21, 2022

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Posted: Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Biology-GLC Seminar: 'Mitochondrial (Dys)function in Orthopedic Disease and Regenerative Medicine' - November 21

Please join the Biology Department and the Great Lakes Center for the remote seminar “Mitochondrial (Dys)function in Orthopedic Disease and Regenerative Medicine,” presented by Michelle Delco, Harry M. Zweig Assistant Research Professor at Cornell University, on Monday, November 21, at 3:00 p.m. in Bulger Communication Center 214. The seminar will give insight into the link between cellular mitochondria, cartilage trauma, and osteoarthritis. A 30-minute coffee and cookie reception will precede the seminar, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Dr. Delco holds a bachelor of science in agriculture and life sciences; a D.V.M.; and a Ph.D. in comparative biomedical sciences from Cornell University. Her research aims to understand how joint injury leads to arthritis in horses and humans. Specifically, she is investigating mitochondria, the energy-producing centers of the cell, as a link between cartilage trauma and osteoarthritis. The goal of her research is to develop new strategies to improve healing and prevent irreversible joint disease and chronic pain in equines and human athletes who suffer orthopedic injuries.

Mitochondria sustain eukaryotic life and dictate cell fate. These organelles are best known as cellular “powerhouses” because they produce ATP required for tissue function and repair. Mitochondria can also act as mechanotransducers, sensing forces applied to tissue and converting those signals into biological responses, such as increased metabolic activity, senescence, and apoptosis. Mitochondrial dysfunction underlies many chronic diseases of energy-hungry tissues like muscle and brain; however the role of mitochondria in mediating degeneration of cartilage and other avascular, poorly healing orthopedic tissues is unclear. Recent work by our group revealed that mitochondrial dysfunction is one of the earliest responses of cartilage to overloading, resulting in chondrocyte death, cartilage degradation, and ultimately osteoarthritis—the most common cause of skeletal pain and disability. This talk will explore several areas of ongoing research, including Dr. Delco's investigation of cartilage mitochondrial mechanobiology, and new mitochondria-targeted regenerative therapies for osteoarthritis and orthopedic soft tissue injuries, including intracellular mitochondrial transfer (donation of healthy mitochondria) from mesenchymal stem cells to injured chondrocytes.

Submitted by: Matthew P Basista
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Monday, November 21, 2022