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Mitochondria in the Brain

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 — Concurrent Symposia Session IV

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Balcony A


  • Zheng Li, NIMH
  • Craig Blackstone, NINDS


As the control center for an organism's physical as well as mental activities, the brain is heavily dependent on normal mitochondrial functions. Mitochondrial dysfunctions often manifest as neurological disorders. Intriguingly, it has recently emerged that not only metabolic, but also non-metabolic functions of mitochondria, such as the regulation of apoptosis, play a crucial role in the development and experience-dependent modification of neural circuits. The structural complexity and functional plasticity of neurons pose unique challenges in the brain to distribute mitochondria and differentially regulate their functions and turnover in distinct subcellular compartments. NIH investigators have recently made substantial contributions to the technical and conceptual advancement in the study of mitochondria. This symposium will highlight the exciting findings of NIH investigators in the understanding of how mitochondria are regulated in both normal and diseased brains.

Dynamic Regulation of Mitochondrial Division
Craig Blackstone, NINDS

Non-Canonical Functions of Mitochondria in Synapses
Zheng Li, NIMH

Axonal Mitochondria Transport and Neurodegeneration
Zu-Hang Sheng, NINDS

Aprataxin Localizes to Mitochondria and Preserves Mitochondrial Function *FARE Award Winner
Peter Sykora, NIA

Mechanisms of Parkin-Mediated Mitophagy
Lesley Kane, NINDS

Profiling Mutations of the Mitochondrial Genome by Deep-Sequencing
Jun Zhu, NHLBI

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