Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Mitochondrial Function & Heart Failure

Downtown Campus
School of Medicine building-1430 Tulane Ave.
Room # 7062

Featuring Rong Tian, MD, PhD

Rong Tian, MD, PhD

Director of Mitochondria and Metabolism Center
Professor of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, and Bioengineering
Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

At a time when the concept was unpopular, Dr. Tian’s research focused on understanding how metabolism affects heart function. What she found has challenged established assumptions about how simple sugar, fat, and amino acids affect the body. More than just energy sources, she and her laboratory have produced evidence that these molecules act as signals, changing the way cells behave in critically important ways. Currently, research in the Tian Laboratory focuses on the roles of cell metabolism and mitochondrial function in the pathogenesis of human disease by examining the system via combining multi-nuclear NMR spectroscopy and metabolomics with the ability to target molecular regulatory mechanisms via genetic manipulation in animal models. Recent work seeks to decipher the mechanistic links between impaired oxidative phosphorylation and mitochondria-triggered cell death during chronic stresses. Results of these studies has identified the important role of the cellular redox state in diseases caused by mitochondrial dysfunction including cardiovascular and neurological pathologies. She is also interested in bi-directional translational research between the bench and the bedside to elucidate the functional significance of altered cellular metabolism and mitochondrial dysfunction in ischemic heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and heart failure. This work has evolved into developing a therapy for mitochondrial dysfunction in the heart and is being translated into clinical trials.

Pharmacology Department
School of Medicine

For more information contact: Nancy Busija via email to