What is Bioenergetics?

Bioenergetics is the study of the flow of energy in living systems within specialized cellular compartments called 'Mitochondria'. They are the energy powerhouses of the cell. Mitochondria create more than 90% of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth.

Mitochondria and the flow of energy

When the mitochondria have problems, the energy our cells need to make our body work is diminished; and this can cause disease and aging. The diseases primarily affect children, but adults also are affected. Diseases of the mitochondria affect the cells of the brain, heart, liver, muscles, kidney, the endocrine and respiratory systems. Symptoms may include loss of motor control, muscle weakness and pain, gastro-intestinal disorders and swallowing difficulties, poor growth, cardiac disease, liver disease, diabetes, respiratory complications, seizures, visual/hearing problems, lactic acidosis, developmental delays and susceptibility to infection.

Bioenergetics VIP Team

The Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program unites undergraduate education and faculty research in a team-based context.  Undergraduate VIP students earn academic credits, while faculty and graduate students benefit from the design/discovery efforts of their teams.  Bioenergetics is a registered team within the VIP program at VCU.  

Click here for more information about the Bioenergetics VIP team.