Samuel Awuah, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Kentucky
“Chemical Control of Mitochondria”
Mitochondria are dynamic organelles that control ATP production, biosynthesis of macromolecules, and signaling. Often referred to as the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria have a well-defined but complicated structure with important functional implications. Undoubtedly critical for physiology; however, mitochondria dysfunction has adverse effects on cell function, leading to inflammation, aging, neurodegeneration, and cancer. Thus, chemical tools to study mitochondrial function is an unmet biomedical need and an attractive approach for developing new therapeutics. This presentation will communicate the discovery and development of gold-based small molecules to interrogate distinct locales of the mitochondrion. Additional findings by the Awuah Research Laboratory to target mitochondria as a novel therapeutic approach in the context of cancer will be highlighted.
Awuah is a Chemist of African descent working at the University of Kentucky. His research presentation will begin at noon April 9th, followed by time for students and faculty to ask questions. There will also be an extra session right after from 1-2pm where underrepresented minority students can talk more informally with him about his career path, and where he also can offer advice about navigating higher education and his career path as someone who is underrepresented in STEM.
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