About Michael’s research:


I’m trying to understand how valproate, a medication currently used to treat bipolar disorder, affects energy metabolism. Through my research, I have identified that valproate directly inhibits cytochrome c oxidase, also known as complex IV in the electron transport chain. The inhibition of this enzyme leads to a decrease in mitochondrial membrane potential and oxygen consumption, which indicates that mitochondrial function is compromised. Moreover, as a consequence of the decrease in mitochondrial bioenergetics, the activity of glycolysis is increased.


Valproate is also known to decrease inositol levels, and inositol depletion has been proposed as the mechanism of action for several bipolar drugs. However, the exact mechanism by which valproate inhibits inositol synthesis is not yet understood. The first and rate limiting step of inositol biosynthesis uses glucose-6-phosphate to synthesize inositol. I am currently testing the hypothesis that valproate inhibits inositol synthesis by increasing flux of glucose-6-phosphate through the glycolysis pathway, thereby reducing the amount available for the inositol biosynthetic pathway.



More about Michael:


I’m from Bethlehem, Palestine. I enjoy reading and all outdoor activities. In particular, I love to go biking and hiking/backpacking. I also enjoy exploring new places and activities, especially around Detroit.



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