Yudong Wang, PhD, Research Projects

The research focus of Yudong Wang, PhD, is on the functional and physical interaction among fatty acid oxidation (FAO), the electron transfer chain, and tricarboxylic acid cycle. Mitochondria are the site of three of the most important energy-generating pathways in humans: oxidative phosphorylation, FAO, and the tricarboxylic acid cycle. The general perception is that the three energy metabolism systems are working independently. However, reducing equivalents from FAO and the tricarboxylic acid cycle channel to oxidative phosphorylation, and all three pathways are necessary for normal cellular health. Wang’s research explores the physical basis of this interaction, hypothesizing that all of the enzymes form a functional complex within the mitochondrial matrix. Defining this functional linkage is important to the theoretical understanding of energy metabolism and has potential direct benefit for the clinic diagnosis and treatment of patients with genetic defects in these enzymes.