My research has focused on elucidating the mechanisms and (patho)physiological impacts of polyunsaturated fatty acid metabolism on mitochondrial function. My broad research interests include 1) mitochondrial physiology in health and disease, 2) translational studies of human disease, and 3) nutrigenetics, the interplay of gene, diet, and human health outcomes.


PhD in Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO, 2020BS in Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO, 2015


Li Puma LC, Hedges M, Heckman JM, Mathias AB, Engstrom MR, Brown AB, Chicco AJ. Experimental oxygen concentration influences rates of mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide release from cardiac and skeletal muscle preparations. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2020 May 1;318(5):R972-R980. Le CH, Benage LG, Specht KS, Li Puma LC, Mulligan CM, Heuberger AL, Prenni JE, Claypool SM, Chatfield KC, Sparagna GC, Chicco AJ. Tafazzin deficiency impairs CoA-dependent oxidative metabolism in cardiac mitochondria. J Biol Chem. 2020 Jul 14:jbc.RA119.011229. Pederson SL, Li Puma MC, Hayes JM, Okuda K, Reilly CM, Beasley JC, Li Puma LC, Hinton TG, Johnson TE, Freeman KS. Effects of chronic low-dose radiation on cataract prevalence and characterization in wild boar (Sus scrofa) from Fukushima, Japan. Sci Rep. 2020 Mar 4;10(1):4055. Battson ML, Lee DM, Li Puma LC, Ecton KE, Thomas KN, Febvre HP, Chicco AJ, Weir TL, Gentile CL. Gut microbiota regulates cardiac ischemic tolerance and aortic stiffness in obesity. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2019 Dec 1;317(6):H1210-H1220. Li Puma MC, Freeman KS, Cleymaet AM, Pederson SL, Crawford AC, Dinger SC, Li Puma LC, Johnston MS. Iridocorneal angle assessment of companion rabbits using gonioscopy, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (Optovue iVue® ), high-resolution ultrasound, and Pentacam® HR imaging. Vet Ophthalmol. 2019 Nov;22(6):834-841.

Research Specialty

High Resolution Respirometry and FluorometryHighly skilled in design, operation, and analysis of experiments investigating integrated mitochondrial physiology using the Oroboros O2k fluo-respirometer in a variety of sample formats. Specific outcomes routinely collected include mitochondrial oxygen consumption rates, indices of OXPHOS efficiency and substrate control, ROS release, membrane potential, ATP/ADP exchange, and calcium tolerance. Cardio-metabolic disease evaluation in rodent modelsDesigned and executed highly integrative and translational studies utilizing both in vivo and ex vivo methods. Assisted in the generation and husbandry of mice with gain/loss of function mutations. Supervised and performed multiple studies where I measured: glucose and insulin tolerance, aortic stiffness, vascular reactivity, and blood pressure. Developed expertise with the Langendorff isolated perfused mouse heart system for ex vivo analysis of myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.Biochemical AnalysisLearned, performed, and optimized analytical techniques including, but not limited to: high-pressure liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and mass spectrometry for analysis of biological lipid composition in biological samples (serum, tissue, and mitochondrial isolates); q-RT-PCR and Western Blotting for genetic expression and protein content in murine samples; cell culture.




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