CHICAGO --- Navdeep Chandel, assistant professor of medicine and of cell and molecular biology at the Feinberg School of Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious 2006 Anthony Linnane Young Investigator Award by the Mitochondrial Research Society.
Chandel is also on the faculty of the Integrated Graduate Program in the Life Sciences at the Feinberg School.
Chandel is interested in deciphering how cells sense a decrease in oxygen levels. All multicellular organisms consume oxygen during mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. If the level of cellular oxygen falls below a critical threshold, mitochondrial ATP production ceases, and the cells begin a spiraling descent culminating in their demise. ATP is adenosine triphosphate, the energy currency of cells.
To avoid that situation, organisms have evolved mechanisms to detect early decreases in cellular oxygen levels. This O2 (2 is subscript) sensing pathway becomes activated at the onset of hypoxia (low oxygen), and it elicits transcriptional and translational responses that preserve tissue O2 supply and enhance the ability of cells to endure the absence of O2.
Oxygen sensing is required for development angiogenesis and tumor angiogenesis. Chandel is currently working on the hypthesis that complex III within mitochondria functions as an oxygen sensor by releasing superoxide, which is responsible for the transcription of genes involved in angiogenesis and metabolism.
Chandel has published in Cell Metabolism, Molecular Cell Biology and Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.
He has been on the Northwestern faculty since 2000.