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Guest Lecture - Maggie Werner-Washburne

Regina Rendon

Maggie began this lecture by discussing the different areas of biology and how they have changed and influenced our studies over time. Cell biology has given us the ability to see the differently through microscopy. Biochemistry has helped us learn about the mitochondria through gel electrophoresis and the centrifugation process and has also led to the development of many new disciplines within biology. Genetics and genomics have given us the ability to look at genes and decide what function they serve and molecular biology which began with restriction enzymes. We then visualized ourselves inside of the mitochondria and the cell. We talked about how the models and pictures of mitochondria that we have observed so far compare to what we understand about mitochondria and to how mitochondria is actually structured. We experienced crossing the plasma membrane. We discussed the different surroundings in the cell and why they were around us. We also discussed Gibbs free energy and Maggie stressed the importance of logs.


  1. What are other areas where “going down to size” will help to create a visual understanding of function?
  2. How do mitochondria control apoptosis?
  3. How can we make it easier for doctors to recognize a mitochondrial disease?

Future Directions:

  1. Continue to study the effects of how mitochondrial function is related to aging and diseases.
  2. Think about the physics and chemistry occurring within the cell and how they influence mitochondria.
  3. Apply visual learning outside of biology and inside the cell.