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Donte Pennington
Donte Pennington
Name: Donte Pennington, PhD
Title: Postdoctoral Fellow
Research Topic: "Intracellular Ca2+ signaling as a biomarker of sarcopenia in African Americans"
Mentors: Bidhan Bandyopadhyay, PhD (Ca2+ Signaling Laboratory, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center) and Michael Harris-Love, DSc, (Muscle Morphology, Mechanics, and Performance Laboratory, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center)
Pubmed: See link

Bio: I received my M.S. in Exercise Physiology from Marshall University and my PhD in Physiology from Howard University. My general research interest is clinical muscle morphology and translational calcium signaling physiology. Currently, I have joined as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center upon receiving my Translational Biomedical Science TL1 grant award. My research focus is to determine the compromise in intracellular Ca2+ signaling efficiency within sarcopenic African American Veterans as compared to their non-sarcopenic counterpart. Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), which is essential for skeletal muscle function, may be diminished in sarcopenia, resulting in muscle weakness and thus could be a key target for preventative therapeutic interventions. Potential findings from this effort would provide insight concerning how the changes in intracellular Ca2+ signaling affects downstream mechanisms leading to skeletal muscle tissue damage. The objective of this research is to elucidate the cell death (apoptotic/necrotic) pathways associated with SOCE-related intracellular Ca2+ signaling within sarcopenic and non-sarcopenic skeletal muscle tissue. This scientific endeavor will help me to understand whether the down/up regulation of intracellular Ca2+ singling pathway can be associated with ryanodine receptor expression/function and SOCE, compromising the sarcoplasmic reticular function within the sarcopenic skeletal muscle, which can induce cell death due to excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS).