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NCIRE-The Veterans Health Research Institute is the leading private nonprofit institute devoted to Veterans health research in the United States. Our mission is to advance Veterans health through research.

We support the work of some of the nation's foremost physicians and scientists at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the premier biomedical research facility in the VA system. All have faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, which has its own proud traditions of research and patient care. We also partner with the U.S. Department of Defense to support health research on behalf of our men and women in the Armed Forces.

Those who have served in uniform have given their best for their country. In return, we believe that they deserve nothing less than the best health care research we can provide.

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Conrad C. Alano, PhD

Research Scientist, Neurology Service, SFVAHCS
Associate Professor of Neurology, UCSF


Mitochondria Mediate the Life and Death of Cells

Although tremendous progress has been made in the treatment of cerebrovascular disease, stroke remains a leading cause of death and severe disability in the United States.  The mechanisms proposed in many diseases and injuries that lead to the death of brain cells include oxidative free radical damage and mitochondrial dysfunction. Neuronal death resulting from ischemic stroke is caused by a sequence of events initiated by ischemia (interruption of blood supply to cells) and reperfusion (resumption of blood supply).  Dr. Alano's recent studies suggest that 1) ischemic injury is mediated by free radical damage, 2) free radicals decrease mitochondrial function, 3) mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with bioenergetic failure, and 4) collapse of bioenergetic homeostasis is a major factor mediating ischemic neuronal death. Dr. Alano and his colleagues propose to establish the foundation of characterizing the mechanisms involved in mitochondrial dysfunction and bioenergetic failure, determine the efficacy of known and novel compounds for treatment for these conditions, and ultimately translate this knowledge into clinical practice.

To see Dr. Alano's Pub Med pages click here.