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Think & Drink: Mitochondria, Antioxidants, and the Way We Age at Heirloom Rustic Ale

March 12, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Speaker: Gary O’Mealey, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Tulsa Community College

Topic: Mitochondria, Antioxidants, and the Way We Age

The natural process of aging is thought to be related to the accumulation of cellular damage over time due to the hampering of the cell’s natural antioxidant defense. The primary culprit in producing the free radicals that antioxidants neutralize are mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles of the cell. In this talk, we discuss the balance between mitochondrial free-radical production and antioxidant defense, and how a disruption of this balance facilitates human aging. Furthermore, we will discuss research that indicates that sulforaphane (SFN), an antioxidant found in cruciferous vegetables, might play an unconventional role in stimulating antioxidant defense by causing mitochondria to fuse together and become more robust. Of particular interest to our lab is Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), the model for which we test the role of mitochondria’s and antioxidant deficiencies’ roles in precipitating aging and aging diseases.

About Dr. O’Mealy:
“I received my B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 2010, and then received my Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2016 from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City.
I did my Ph.D. in the laboratory of Dr. Scott Plafker of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in OKC. His laboratory is in the Aging and Metabolism Program of OMRF. After earning my Ph.D. in August of 2016, I stayed in the lab for another 10 months to continue working on unpublished projects.
I am now an Assistant Professor of Biology at Tulsa Community College, where I teach Human Physiology. I remain in regular contact with the Plafker Lab to work on continuing to advance the discoveries we made together.”


Think & Drink is like a TED Talk, but enhanced with alcohol. Each month, someone with a deep understanding of a specific STEM field will provide insight into their field, research, or related topic. Presentations are informal and discussion is encouraged.

Presented by The STEMcell Science Shop.

Think & Drink nights are every 2nd Thursday from 6:30-8:00 at Heirloom Rustic Ales on Kendall Whittier Main Street.



March 12, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


STEMcell Science Shop


Heirloom Rustic Ales
2113 E. Admiral Blvd.
Tulsa, OK 74110 United States
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(918) 292-8757