The Mitochondria and Metabolism Center (MMC) at the University of Washington is home to a large and diverse community of researchers. The MMC was established in 2009 by Dr. Rong Tian to explore mitochondrial functioning specifically in cardiac muscle tissue. Since that time the center has grown steadily in members, capabilities, research areas and activities, and funding. There are currently over thirty people established at the center, along with researchers from other UW departments, industry, and other affiliated institutions who regularly visit the center to participate in various research activities. We hold monthly research seminars during the academic year as well as hosting a distinguished guest lecture series featuring visiting experts in the areas of mitochondria and metabolism.
With over 8000 square feet of lab and office space, state-of-the-art equipment, and a collaborative work environment, the center is actively engaged in scientific discovery to address mitochondrial dysfunction that will lead to improvements in diagnosis and treatment of many conditions that we face in the modern era. The center houses a group of core faculty, the High Resolution NMR Spectroscopy facility, and the Mass Spectrometry and Microimaging (HRIM) facility. The MMC brings together multi-disciplinary investigators from across the university and its affiliated institutions to foster interactions and to share resources.
Mitochondria and metabolism are closely related disciplines vital to human biology, physiology and diseases. Current investigations into mitochondria and metabolism fascinate us with the observations that alterations of mitochondrial function and cell metabolism control life span in multiple model organisms. Furthermore, it is recognized that acquired mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of highly prevalent diseases such as obesity/diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Current studies include evaluating the role of impaired fatty acid oxidation mechanisms in heart disease; signaling mechanisms of enzymes in cell metabolism; the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in heart failure; and the role of particular amino acids in developing insulin resistance and heart disease.