Collaborate 2 Cure
May 15, 2017



KU Clinical Research: Fairway Auditorium
4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway Fairway, KS 66205

Can’t join us in person? Join virtually using Zoom! 
Please register to attend and select “Virtually by Zoom” and the link will be in your registration confirmation email.

Hepatic Mitochondrial Function Impacts Metabolism


He will discuss the impact of physical activity and aerobic capacity on hepatic mitochondrial function. I will show evidence to suggest that physical activity and aerobic capacity have a profound impact on mitochondrial function which will be tied to whole body metabolic benefits including reduced susceptibility for fatty liver, enhanced metabolic flexibility and improved control of food intake. I will then discuss the role of mitophagy in driving exercise induced effects on hepatic mitochondrial function.

Speaker- John Thyfault, PhD, FACSM

Dr. Thyfault received his BS and MS at FHSU and his PhD at KU. He completed postdoctoral studies at East Carolina University before serving as a faculty member at MU from 2005 to 2015. He moved to KUMC in 2016 where he continues to investigate the impact of exercise, physical activity and fitness on susceptibility for metabolic dysfunction.

Assays to Monitor Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Mitophagy in Vivo


Removal of damaged mitochondria through mitophagy is critical for maintaining cellular homeostasis and functions. Increasing evidence implicates mitophagy in red blood cell differentiation, neurodegeneration, macrophage-mediated inflammation, ischemia, adipogenesis, drug-induced tissue injury and cancer. Considerable progress has been made toward understanding the biochemical mechanisms involved in mitophagy regulation. However, few reliable assays to monitor and quantify mitophagy have been developed, particularly in vivo. In this presentation, I will discuss recent development of three assays, MitoTimer, mt-Keima and mito-QC, for monitoring and quantifying mitophagy in cells and in animal tissues. We also discuss the advantages and limitations of these three assays when using them to monitor and quantify mitophagy.

Speaker- Wen-Xin Ding, PhD

Dr. Wen-Xing Ding currently is an associate professor of Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutics at The University of Kansas Medical Center. He received his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore in 2002. He did his Postdoctoral training at University of Pittsburgh. In the past decade, Dr. Ding’s research has been focused on the molecular mechanisms of cell death and cell survival in liver diseases.  Dr. Ding is a member of American Association of Studies of Liver Disease (AASLD), Society of Toxicology (SOT) and Research society of Alcoholism.  Dr. Ding is also the Program Committee member of the American Society of Investigative Pathology (ASIP). Dr. Ding has published more than 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals and his research work is currently supported by NIAAA and NIDDK.

Dr. Ding’s current research focuses on the mechanisms of how autophagy protects against alcohol and drug-induced liver injury as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In particular, they are interested in identifying how autophagy selectively removes cellular damaged proteins and organelles such as mitochondria, lipid droplets and endoplasmic reticulum from hepatocytes. The ultimate goal of his research work is to develop novel approaches to modulate autophagy to treat liver diseases.