Amadou K.S. Camara, PhD
Professor of Anesthesiology
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509
(414) 955-5624 | (414) 955-6507 (fax) | email@example.com
Mitochondria play a role in numerous fundamental cellular processes and are therefore recognized as the linchpin in the determination of cell survival and death. Disturbances in mitochondrial function leads to the pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, diabetes and aging. My overall research objective is to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms by which mitochondria control intracellular Ca2+ and reactive oxygen/nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) and the interplay Ca2+ and ROS/RNS, and translate these mechanisms to function and dysfunction of the heart.
My current research interests are mainly two fold. 1) Characterize the biophysical mechanisms associated with mitochondrial handlings of Ca2+ and ROS/RNS under normal and ischemic stress conditions (IR), and the complex interactions between Ca2+ and ROS in the dynamic regulation of mitochondrial and cellular dysfunction in the heart during oxidative stress. 2) Understand the underlying molecular mechanisms that regulate cation and ROS/RNS homeostasis and their contribution to the deleterious consequences of IR injury. Some molecular mechanisms of interest include post-translational modifications of targeted mitochondrial proteins, and cross talk between cytosolic redox signaling proteins (e.g. the proto-oncogene p66shc) and mitochondria during cardiac IR injury and cardioprotection. An example of protein of interest in my lab is the voltage dependent anion channel (VADC), an outer mitochondrial membrane protein that regulates the fluxes of cations/anions and metabolites in and out of mitochondria, and therefore, a key regulator of cell survival and cell death during under physiological and pathophysiological conditions.
In our lab we use multidisciplinary approach that encompasses specrofluorometric and fluorescence confocal microscopy to measure and monitor dynamically mitochondrial bioenergetics, ROS/RNS, cations and pH in isolated cardiac mitochondria and cardiac myocytes. We also use of fiber-optic probes to fluorometrically monitor changes in mitochondrial function in the beating heart in vivo and ex vivo; use molecular tools, e.g. proteomics, to probe changes in targeted mitochondrial proteins critical in the regulation cation and ROS/RNS during oxidative stress. The iresults obtained from these research objectives will provide crucial information regarding the participation of mitochondria in the etiology of ischemic heart disease.