Author Archives: mlp29

Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium

On April 20, 2017 Penn State Brandywine hosted the annual Regional Undergraduate Research Symposium. A total of seven Penn State campuses participated. John DiMaio from our lab presented his work on the effects of mitochondrial dynamics inhibitors on Crithidia.

You can read the full story on the event here.

Congratulations, John!

I am thrilled that John DiMaio was recognized with the 2017 D’Iorio Family Undergraduate Research Award at the Academic Recognition Ceremony on March 21. Great work, John!

Photo credit: Mike McDade

Research Highlights

Our research has recently been featured in Penn State News as well as Mitochondrial Disease News. It is very exciting to have received funding for our work. Note to fellow tryp researchers: those are Crithidia cultures I’m holding. I would never let my T. brucei cultures look like that!

As a result of this funding I am looking to hire a technician and 2-3 undergraduate students starting in Spring/Summer 2017. Watch this space for formal job announcements and e-mail me for more information.

The Povelones Lab at Penn State Brandywine

The Povelones Lab uses single-celled eukaryotic parasites as model organisms to study mitochondria. Mitochondria are membrane-bound organelles that play a central role in a number of metabolic pathways. Mitochondrial pathways are regulated according to the cell’s energy needs, and these functional changes can be accompanied by alterations in mitochondrial shape.

Kinetoplastid parasites such as Trypanosoma brucei and Crithidia fasciculata diverged early from the main eukaryotic lineage, and provide a unique evolutionary perspective on mitochondrial structure and function. Unusually, each cell has only a single mitochondrion, which changes dramatically depending on the life cycle stage of the parasite. T. brucei procyclic form (PCF) cells, which reside in the midgut of the tsetse fly vector, have a highly branched mitochondrial network. In contrast, the bloodstream form (BSF) of the parasite has an unbranched tubular mitochondrion. The structural and regulatory proteins that mediate this transition are largely unknown.