Tommy Lewis, Jr., Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Mitochondria are often referred to as the “powerhouse of the cell.” However, for something important enough to gain that kind of reputation, we still have much to learn about the various roles mitochondria play in humans.

My lab focuses on the function of mitochondria in neurons during both health and disease. We are interested in learning how neurons control our brain, and what goes wrong during aging leading to devastating neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s.

Traditionally, we have to look at these cells outside the body in a dish but many times it is difficult to translate that work back into something relevant for treating human patients.

We have developed a new imaging method where we can observe the function of mitochondria in living, relevant mouse models. As this research develops, we will be able to track what happens during disease progression in real-time. This may result in new avenues for understanding these traumatic diseases.

Contact Information:

Aging & Metabolism Research Program, MS 21
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
825 N.E. 13th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Phone: (405) 271-7582
Fax: (405) 271-1437


B.S., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2003
Ph.D., University of Southern California, Los Angeles, 2010
Postdoctoral training, Columbia University, New York, 2013-2018
Postdoctoral Training, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, 2010-2013