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Exercise Physiology Research Talk: Heather Vellers

December 8, 2017 @ 10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST

Title: Genetics Adaptation to Endurance Exercise Training: Understanding the role of the mitochondrial genome

Abstract: Endurance exercise training leads to a multitude of health benefits toward the prevention and treatment of various chronic diseases. However, not all individuals respond well to exercise training. That is, some individuals have no response, while others respond poorly or even worsen. Genetic background is known to contribute to the inter-individual variation with endurance training. Presently, the role of genetics and exercise is primarily limited to the nuclear genome, with only a limited focus on a potential role of the mitochondrial genome. This presentation will highlight research that has begun to elucidate the relationship between mitochondrial genome elements, including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence, damage, copy number and heteroplasmy, with response to endurance training.

About the speaker: Heather Vellers is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Vellers completed her Ph.D. in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University. She is interested in the role of the mitochondrial genome with the individual variations in adaptations to endurance training and potential pathological etiologies. Vellers is currently collaborating with bioinformatics experts to finalize an algorithm to determine the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA variant associations and interactions that predict any phenotype of interest in animal and human models.


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