University: We Make Lives Better

Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

Kennedy Mdaki, Ph.D.


Kennedy Mdaki, Ph.D.

Mentor: Roger Shi, Ph.D., Professor of Pharmacology
Hometown: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Undergraduate University: University of Northamption (United Kingdom)
Graduate University: University of Northamption (United Kingdom)
Degrees Earned: B.S. (Hons), Ph.D.

My Research Interests:

I seek to identify molecular mechanisms by which mitochondrial dysfunction regulates cellular senescence in aging and aging related diseases. This is an important project, since recent work from several labs demonstrated a key role of cellular senescence in aging and aging-related diseases, but the underlying connection is poorly identified. My project focuses on a novel metabolic pathway mediated by ALCAT1, the first acyltransferase that catalyzes the remodeling of cardiolipin. ALCAT1 links cellular senescence to the onset of aging and aging-related diseases through regulation of mitochondrial dysfunction. I employ molecular, cellular, mitochondrial approaches, as well as mouse models of targeted deletion of ALCAT1 for the studies.

Why I Pursued Aging Research:

Despite the significant evidence indicating that aging is a driving force for the development of aging-related metabolic diseases, including obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases, the molecular mechanisms underlying a causative role of these pathogenic conditions remains poorly understood.

My Future Plans:

Primary Investigator at a research institution or Scientist in research industry.

Awards and Honors:

  • 2016  1st prize winner, San Antonio Annual Postdoctoral Research Forum. San Antonio Life Sciences Institute (SALSI), USA
  • 2016  APS Select. Distinction in Scholarship, APS - Heart and Circulatory Physiology, USA
  • 2015  Minority Travel Fellowship Award. American Physiological Society (APS), USA
  • 2015  Minority Travel Grant. American Heart Association, Scientific sessions BCVS, USA
  • 2012  Chancellor’s Fund. University of Northampton, UK
  • 2011  1st prize winner. Annual graduate school poster competition, University of Northampton, UK
  • 2009  T.D Lewis scholarship to study aging at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging (USA)


Mdaki KS, Zhang Jun, Shi Y. 2016. Acyl-CoA:lysocardiolipin acyltransferase regulate cellular bioenergetics and lysosomal function: implications for aging and age-related diseases. Pathobiology of Aging & Age-related Diseases. 2016 December; 6:34153.

Mdaki KS, et al. 2016. Maternal high-fat diet impairs cardiac function in offspring of diabetic pregnancy through metabolic stress and mitochondrial dysfunction. American journal of physiology. Heart and circulatory physiology. 2016; 310(6):H681-92.

Mdaki KS, Larsen TD, Weaver LJ, Baack ML. 2016. Age Related Bioenergetics Profiles in Isolated Rat Cardiomyocytes Using Extracellular Flux Analyses. PloS one. 2016; 11(2):e0149002.

Mdaki K. 2013. An investigation of the effects of aluminium on mitochondrial bioenergetics via aconitase inactivation : implications for development, ageing and chronic disease. (British Library, Doctoral Thesis).

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography:


BarshopINSTITUTElogo _Converted_
The Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies

15355 Lambda Drive
San Antonio, Texas  78245
P: 210-562-6140 F: 210-562-6150

Copyright © 2018
UT Health San Antonio

The University of Texas Health Science Center
Accessibility | Public/Personal Information | Site Information | Web Privacy

Links from web sites affiliated with The University of Texas Health Science Center's web site ( to other web sites do not constitute or imply university endorsement of those sites, their content, or products and services associated with those sites.

Site Developed by Toolbox Studios, Inc.