Leading mitochondrial DNA researcher discusses causes of common complex diseases at Feinstein Institute Marsh Lecture

MANHASSET, NY – The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research hosted a Marsh Lecture this week by Douglas C. Wallace, PhD, a renowned leader in mitochondrial DNA research and director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Dr. Wallace discussed his research to determine the mitochondrial causes of common “complex” diseases.

Dr. Wallace and his colleagues founded the field of human mitochondrial genetics more than 40 years ago. The mitochondria are the cellular power plants, organelles, or specialized structures within a cell, that generate most of the cell’s energy. The mitochondria also contain their own DNA, the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which encodes the wiring diagram for the cell’s power plants. Dr. Wallace has shown that the mtDNA is inherited exclusively from the mother and that genetic alterations in the mtDNA can result in a wide range of metabolic and degenerative diseases as well as being important in cancer and aging. His research also has helped map the global migration patterns of early humans during the Paleolithic Era.

“Dr. Wallace’s knowledge of mitochondrial genetics and its role in human disease and early human history is unparalleled,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. “His history of productizing knowledge to solve mysteries of disease is crucial to future new therapeutic discoveries.”

The Feinstein Institute’s Marsh Lecture was established as a forum for renowned scientists to share their expertise with Feinstein Institute investigators. Made possible by an endowment from the late Leonard Marsh and his family, the Marsh Lecture honors the memory of Leonard Marsh, co-founder of Snapple Beverage Corporation and a major supporter of the Feinstein Institute. Leonard Marsh’s legendary enthusiasm for new ideas and innovations continue to inspire the Feinstein Institute scientific faculty and staff.

For more information on this and upcoming Marsh Lectures, click here.

About the Feinstein Institute

The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.

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