Radiology Personnel

David Marcinek, Ph.D.



David Marcinek received his Ph.D. from Stanford University studying muscle metabolism in endothermic and ectothermic fish species. He came to the UW to work with Kevin Conley as a postdoctoral fellow where they developed NMR and optical spectroscopy tools to study the effects of age on skeletal muscle energetics. Since becoming faculty in the Department of Radiology he has been focused on the interaction between mitochondrial oxidative stress and energy metabolism in health and disease.

Research Interests

Mitochondria play a key role in integrating cellular energetics and the control of cell survival. As a result they are a critical element in aging and many degenerative diseases. We believe that an integrated study of mitochondrial energetics in the living organism is required for a mechanistic understanding of the role mitochondria play in degenerative disease. To that end, we have developed novel methods to directly measure mitochondrial function in vivo. Optical and magnetic resonance spectroscopies provide independent measures of oxygen and ATP fluxes in the intact animal. By independently measuring these fluxes we determine several parameters of mitochondrial energetics in skeletal muscle, including the coupling of ATP production to oxygen consumption. We have found that mitochondria in mouse skeletal muscle become less efficient with age, which results in a reduction in the ATP produced per oxygen consumed. This reduced efficiency can lead to an energetic stress on the cell and may impact cell survival. We combine these novel in vivo tools with detailed biochemical analyses of isolated mitochondria and permeabilized muscle fibers. By combining these approaches we are able to integrate the physiological relevance of our in vivo approach with the mechanistic detail available from ex vivo assays.

The focus of our current research is:

1) identifying the role of in vivo mitochondrial dysfunction and loss of energy homeostasis in pathophysiology of aging and disease,

2) the role of mitochondrial toxicity in the pathology associated with multiple xenobiotic compounds such as chemotherapeutic agents, environmental toxins and other drugs.


1989-1993 B.A. – Biology, Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo, MI

1993-2000 Ph.D. – Physiology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

2000-2005 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Recent Publications

See all publications on Scopus

Late-life restoration of mitochondrial function reverses cardiac dysfunction in old mice
Chiao Y.A., Zhang H., Sweetwyne M., Whitson J., Ting Y.S., Basisty N., Pino L.K., Quarles E., Nguyen N.H., Campbell M.D., Zhang T., Gaffrey M.J., Merrihew G., Wang L., Yue Y., Duan D., Granzier H.L., Szeto H.H., Qian W.J., Marcinek D., MacCoss M.J., Rabinovitch P.
eLife. 2020 Jul

Mitochondrial protein interaction landscape of SS-31
Chavez J.D., Tang X., Campbell M.D., Reyes G., Kramer P.A., Stuppard R., Keller A., Zhang H., Rabinovitch P.S., Marcinek D.J., Bruce J.E.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2020 Jun:15363-15373

SS-31 and NMN: Two paths to improve metabolism and function in aged hearts
Whitson J.A., Bitto A., Zhang H., Sweetwyne M.T., Coig R., Bhayana S., Shankland E.G., Wang L., Bammler T.K., Mills K.F., Imai S.I., Conley K.E., Marcinek D.J., Rabinovitch P.S.
Aging Cell. 2020 Jan

Discovery of a Potential Human Serum Biomarker for Chronic Seafood Toxin Exposure Using an SPR Biosensor
Lefebvre K., Yakes B., Frame E., Kendrick P., Shum S., Isoherranen N., Ferriss B., Robertson A., Hendrix A., Marcinek D., Grattan L.
Toxins. 2019 May

Improving mitochondrial function with SS-31 reverses age-related redox stress and improves exercise tolerance in aged mice
Campbell M., Duan J., Samuelson A., Gaffrey M., Merrihew G., Egertson J., Wang L., Bammler T., Moore R., White C., Kavanagh T., Voss J., Szeto H., Rabinovitch P., MacCoss M., Qian W., Marcinek D.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine. 2019 Apr:268-281

Fatiguing contractions increase protein S-glutathionylation occupancy in mouse skeletal muscle
Kramer P., Duan J., Gaffrey M., Shukla A., Wang L., Bammler T., Qian W., Marcinek D.
Redox Biology. 2018 Jul:367-376

Building strength, endurance, and mobility using an astaxanthin formulation with functional training in elderly
Liu S., Ali A., Campbell M., Kilroy K., Shankland E., Roshanravan B., Marcinek D., Conley K.
Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle. 2018 Jan

Repeated low level domoic acid exposure increases CA1 VGluT1 levels, but not bouton density, VGluT2 or VGAT levels in the hippocampus of adult mice
Moyer C., Hiolski E., Marcinek D., Lefebvre K., Smith D., Zuo Y.
Harmful Algae. 2018 Jan

Domoic acid in California sea lion fetal fluids indicates continuous exposure to a neuroteratogen poses risks to mammals
Lefebvre K., Hendrix A., Halaska B., Duignan P., Shum S., Isoherranen N., Marcinek D., Gulland F.
Harmful Algae. 2018 Jan

Effect of contaminants of emerging concern on liver mitochondrial function in Chinook salmon
Yeh A., Marcinek D., Meador J., Gallagher E.
Aquatic Toxicology. 2017 Sep:21-31