Picture of HOLLENBECK

PETER J. HOLLENBECK

25% Biology, 75% Provost office
Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
LILY 2-237
Phone: 765-496-3378

Nerve cells are the longest cells in the body: their relative dimensions can approximate those of a hose 1 inch in diameter and thousands of feet long. This allows individual nerve cells to convey messages rapidly in the nervous system, but also requires that they transport the energy sources and raw materials that they need over enormous distances. In my laboratory we are working to determine how nerve cells accomplish and coordinate this long-range movement, and how the process goes awry in neurodegenerative diseases. We are particularly interested in how nerve cells transport and redistribute mitochondria, the organelle that is major source of chemical energy in the cell, over long distances. To observe and perturb nerve cells directly, we remove them from the nervous system of chick or Drosophila embryos and induce them to grow in a culture dish, where we can study their responses to specific molecular events using computer-enhanced light microscopy. We also measure events in the nerve axons directly in live Drosophila larvae. Using these methods, we have gained insight into how mitochondria are moved, and how the cell uses molecular signals to send them to the right part of the axon at the right time, as well as how their activity and replication are regulated across time and distance.

Outside of my laboratory, I serve the Tourette Association of America as a scientific advisor and public speaker.

Education

Ph.D., California, Berkeley, 1984

Current lab personnel:

Research assistant: Doris Kemler

Graduate students: Hyun Sung, Pin-Chao Liao

Undergraduates: Maaz Arif, Alex Liu, Lauren Tandarich, Kenny Nguyen

Awards

Charles B. Murphy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, Purdue University, 2013

Biological Sciences Graduate Student Mentoring Award, 2011-12

Honorable Mention, Top Teacher in College of Science Awards, 2011

Purdue Seeds of Success Award for winning research grants in excess of $1,000,000; 2010

The Top Teacher in College of Science Award, 2008

Named to Purdue University Teaching Academy, 2007

Top Ten Teacher in College of Science Award, 2005, 2006, 2007

Purdue Seeds of Success Award for winning research grants in excess of $1,000,000; 2004

Chiscon Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2004

Grants

NIH-The Response of Mitochondria to Legionella Infection of Macrophages R21 AI117205-01

NIH-Control of Neuronal Organelle Transport R01 NS02073-25

Other Activities

Grant Review and Study Sections

  • NIMH, NINDS, NSF
  • United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation
  • American Cancer Society
  • Tourette Syndrome Association

Advisory Boards

  • Tourette Syndrome Association Scientific Advisory Board, 1997-2012; Vice-Chair, 2004-11
  • NIMH/NIH Council (2005-2008)

Recent Research Presentations

  • Axonal transport of mitochondria in Parkinson’s disease Drosophila models. 45th Annual Society for Neuroscience meetings, Minisymposium on “Axonal Transport Defects in Neurodegenerative Diseases II: Mechanisms and Molecular Components,” Chicago IL, 10/17/15
  • The transport, turnover and life cycle of mitochondria in the nervous system, in sickness and health. Howard Hughes Medical Institute conference on Neuronal Trafficking in Physiology and Disease, Janelia Farm, Ashburn, VA, 06/01/15
  • Neuronal mitochondria: the life cycle of a very complex organelle in a very large cell.  Cell Press-Fondation Ipsen Symposium on Biology of Size, La Jolla, CA, 10/29/14
  • Mitochondrial Transport, Metabolism and ROS Production in Disease Models.   Dept of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Illinois School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, 06/17/14
  • Mitochondrial Transport, Metabolism and ROS Production in Disease Models.  Dept of Biological Sciences and Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 04/10/14
  • Mitochondrial Transport, Metabolism and ROS Production in Disease Models. Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 03/17/14
  • Samuel Colella Lecture in Neurodegeneration, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, 2/20/13
  • Location and organization of features of the mitochondrial life cycle in neurons. ICTS-TIFR Advanced Workshop on Axonal Transport and Neurodegenerative Disorders, Mahabaleshwar, India, 01/23/13.
  • Mitochondrial transport, ROS production and metabolism in disease models. ICTS-TIFR Advanced Workshop on Axonal Transport and Neurodegenerative Disorders, Mahabaleshwar, India, 01/21/13.
  • Transport and function of axonal mitochondria: what do disease models tell us about the normal life cycle in neurons? 52nd Annual American Society for Cell Biology national meetings, San Francisco, CA, 12/15/12.
  • Mitochondrial transport and function in the normal and pathologic nervous system. Dept of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Drexel University School of Medicine, Philadelphia PA, 05/01/12.
  • Mitochondrial transport and function in the normal and pathologic nervous system. Dept of Neuroscience, Univ of Minnesota School of Medicine, Minneapolis MN, 02/09/12.
  • Mitochondrial motility, metabolic state and ROS production in the normal and pathologic Drosophila nervous system.  Conference on Emerging Topics in the Neuronal Cytoskeleton, Santa Cruz, Chile, 04/25/11.
  • How are mitochondrial transport and function regulated in neurons?  Dept of Cancer and Cell Biology, Univ of Cincinnati School of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 04/14/11
  • How are Mitochondrial transport and function regulated in neurons?  Dept of Biology, Univ of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 02/14/11.

Conferences

  • 45th Annual Society for Neuroscience meetings, Chicago IL, 10/17/15.
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute conference on Neuronal Trafficking in Physiology and Disease, Janelia Farm, Ashburn, VA, 06/01/15
  • Cell Press-Fondation Ipsen Symposium on Biology of Size, La Jolla, CA, 10/29/14
  • ICTS-TIFR Advanced School and Workshop on Axonal Transport and Neurodegenerative Disorders, Bombay India, January 16-25, 2013.
  • 52nd Annual American Society for Cell Biology national meetings, San Francisco, CA, December 15-19, 2012.
  • 51st Annual American Society for Cell Biology national meetings, Denver CO, December 9-12, 2011.
  • Emerging Topics in the Neuronal Cytoskeleton, Santa Cruz, Chile, April 24-27, 2011.

Professional Faculty Research

(Neurobiology) Intracellular organelle transport in neurons.

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