Welcome to Mito U

"When I attended my first mitochondrial meeting in 1997, I was moved by a talk by Dr. Doug Wallace, one of the pioneers in the field of mitochondrial diseases. Dr. Wallace challenged all of us, and Western Medicine, as to how we should think about the basis of health and illness. For generations of physicians, we have been trained to understand illness on the basis of anatomy. Dr. Wallace pointed out that human anatomy changes very little during the moment-to-moment changes in our lives, yet our body looks and functions quite differently when we are infants and when we are elderly, and when we are healthy and when we are sick. What gives life is not anatomy but the energy produced within the mitochondria.

Most human illnesses have dysfunctional mitochondria at their core: this includes cancer, diabetes, dementia and heart disease. Innate immunity and inflammation are mitochondrial processes. Many toxic effects of medication result from impaired mitochondrial function. There are many illnesses that affect children and adults that are caused by mutations in the nuclear and mitochondrial DNA that result in mitochondrial dysfunction.

The last 30 years has brought the mitochondria onto the front pages of medical journals but, as physicians, we are still educated along the same anatomical constructs that we were when Dr. Wallace introduced this concept: departments of organ-specific anatomy. 

UMDF's Mito U is intended to understand disease using a different paradigm, that of energy, and offers courses to help clinicians gain the knowledge necessary to think about disease using this new model. Most clinicians are not yet aware of the broad effects of mitochondrial function within the different organ systems. We hope that Mito U will help close that gap and this new competence can affect patient outcomes."

- Bruce H. Cohen, MD, Chair, Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

About Mito U

After careful review of available resources to clinicians caring for mitochondrial patients, the UMDF knew early on that there was a strong need for one location to share resources as well as continuing medical education specific to mitochondrial medicine. Through a collaborative effort with the Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS), the UMDF is proud to launch Mito U and will continue to provide this dedicated space to move our mission forward.

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About the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

During the past 25 years, we have built a network of the top clinicians, hospitals and researchers dedicated to fighting mitochondrial disease. We are driven by a nationwide community of ambassadors solely focused on supporting patients and families affected by mitochondrial disease. Together, we are committed and energized to make a difference by funding the best science no matter where it is found in the world and providing critical programs and services to the patient families we serve.

Our Mission is to promote research and education for the diagnosis, treatment and cure of mitochondrial disorders and to provide support to affected individuals and families.

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About the Mitochondrial Medicine Society

Founded in 1998 by doctors Richard Haas and Robert Naviaux, the MMS represents an international group of physicians, researchers and clinicians working towards advancing education, research and global collaboration in clinical mitochondrial medicine.

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About PeerPoint Medical Education Institute

Beginning in 2019, the UMDF began working with PeerPoint to provide continuing medical education for our live activities. We are pleased to continue working with them to provide enduring material.

Learn More about PeerPoint