Abel Lab member, Margaret Mungai was one of five selected as a recipient of the Iowa Center for Research by Undergraduates’ (ICRU) 2019 Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. Mungai will receive a $1,000 professional travel scholarship and an ICRU Research Fellowship for the 2019-2020 academic school year.
Mungai presented a poster titled “OPA-1 Deficiency in Skeletal Muscle Increases Mitochondria-ER Contact Formation”. Her abstract states that, “defective mitochondria-associated membranes or mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum contact sites (MERCs), has been associated with insulin Resistant Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. MERC’s are enriched with specific proteins and lipids that are believed to mediate interorganellar communication such ascalcium and lipid tra1nsfer, autophagosome formation, regulation of mitochondrial morphology, and apoptosis.” They found that, “Collectively, these data suggest that loss of OPA-1 in muscle cells results in the induction of MERC proteins, which correlates with increased MERCS formation. Increased MERCs may represent a compensatory mechanism in response to mitochondrial stress that is precipitated by OPA1 deficiency.”
Help us Congratulate Margaret on her accomplishment!