- Friday, October 30, 2015
- 1:30 PM–2:30 PM
- Science Building 010
Kristin Dittenhafer-Reed, PhD, Van Andel Institute Researcher in the MacKeigan Laboratory that focuses on identifying and understanding the genes and signaling pathways that, when mutated, contribute to the pathophysiology of cancer and neurodegeneration.
Altered cellular metabolism and the evasion of cell death are two hallmarks of cancer. Both of these hallmarks involve the mitochondria, the metabolic centers of the cell and critical players in initiating apoptosis. This seminar will highlight studies of a specific mitochondrial membrane component, cardiolipin, which may serve as a molecular bridge connecting altered metabolism and resistance to cell death. Cardiolipin is required for proper mitochondrial structure and function, and importantly, it facilitates the cellular events that initiate apoptosis. Cancer cells are able to limit or evade apoptosis, often allowing cells to resist chemotherapy and causing a significant clinical problem. Using cellular biology and quantitative biochemistry approaches, the goal of my research is to understand how changes in cardiolipin content lead cancer cells to resist drug treatment, specifically in glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor.