It has been a great month for physiology. This week the Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland Chapter of the American Physiological Society (dvmCAPS) held their 5th annual meeting on October 8th on The George Washington University Campus.
The first Distinguished Speaker was Dr. Robert S. Balaban (above), Laboratory of Cardiac Energetics at the National Institutes of Health, who spoke about the Structure and Function of Cardiac Mitochondria. Mitochondria are derived from bacterial ancestors that came to live symbiotically in our cells. There, they are responsible for converting nutrients into cellular energy, called ATP. Dr. Balaban’s research is aimed at understanding how mitochondria in heart cells are able to provide sufficient energy to meet physiological demands.
The second Distinguished Speaker was Dr. Brian O’Rourke (above), Professor of Medicine at the Heart and Vascular Institute at Johns Hopkins who spoke about Mitochondrial Calcium and ROS in Heart Failure and Sudden Cardiac Death. As mentioned in the title of his talk, Dr. O’Rourke’s research is focused on the role of dysfunctional mitochondria in impaired contraction of heart muscle, arrhythmia, and abnormal energetics.