Nov., 8, 2018// Digging up the evolutionary origins of hypoxia-tolerance: physiological and biochemical adaptations to acute hypoxia in African mole rats
Dr. Matthew Pamenter, Dept. Biology, University of Ottawa
I am interested in the physiological and related molecular mechanisms that underlie natural metabolic adaptations to low oxygen stress and enable central nervous system function and viability in hypoxia and ischemia. Specifically, I use hypoxia-tolerant comparative model organisms (African mole rats, western painted turtles, goldfish) and oxygen-sensitive mammalian cells and tissues (mouse, human) to investigate cellular and systemic mechanisms involved in hypoxia-tolerance and neuroprotection. The long-term aim of my research is to discover cellular pathways and molecular candidates that enable endogenous systemic tolerance to low oxygen stress in hypoxia-adapted species, and to translate these mechanisms to hypoxia-intolerant mammals in order to reduce or reverse brain cell injury caused by pathological conditions that compromise oxygen supply to the tissue (e.g. stroke, heart attack, COPD, etc).