Bennett Gosiker

Mentor: Dr. Christina Pacak
College of Medicine
"Early on in my undergraduate career I wanted to gauge my interest in the field of medical research. I have throughly enjoyed my time in the lab conducting experimentation, and it has fueled my desire to approach medical research from a translational perspective. For this reason, I have decided to pursue an MD/MPH with a focus in Epidemiology to combine my passions for lab-based experiementation and its interconnectedness with social identities as determinants in medical outcomes."


Microbiology and Cell Science, Sociology



Research Interests

  • Gene Therapy
  • Rare Diseases
  • Mitochondrial Disorders

Academic Awards

  • Bright Futures Scholarship 2013-present
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • Campus Diplomats
  • Preview Staff
  • Honors Without Borders


  • TopSoccer
  • UFHealth
  • WellFlorida

Hobbies and Interests

  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Cycling
  • Cooking

Research Description

AAV-MitoTimer to Assess Mitochondrial Turnover In Vitro and In Vivo
 Mitochondrial turnover is a key marker in the process of cellular senescence. In order to track mitochondrial turnover rates in various cell lines, an indicator is necessary to identify the formation of new mitochondria along with the degradation of old mitochondria. This measure is critical for the study of disease processes in which there is an up or down regulation of mitochondrial turnover rates. One dynamic tool to measure this balance is the pTRE-Tight-MitoTimer plasmid. The MitoTimer transgene combines the red fluorescent protein, dsRed, and a human cytochrome c oxidase subunit VIII (Cox 8) mitochondrial localization sequence to traffic the protein to the mitochondria where the color shifts from green to red over time (approximately 24 hours). Our goal is to use this as a tool to assess the increase or decrease in mitochondrial turnover as a result of mutations that cause mitochondrial dysfunction. Through virus-mediated gene delivery, we hope to observe mitochondrial turnover dynamics both in vitro and in vivo