Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Gibas, Kelly


Chronic disease currently affects 45%, nearly half, of all persons in the United States (Raghupathi & Raghupathi, 2018). A systemic, cellular etiology of chronic disease has been proposed: literature supports the mechanism of a universal cell danger response (CDR) (Naviaux, 2019). The hallmark of the CDR, the shift in metabolism to anaerobic glycolysis, is initiated by altered functionality of the mitochondria (Naviaux, 2019). Current research on mitochondrial dysfunction has demonstrated that a hypoxic intervention has successfully increased longevity in mice with mitochondrial dysfunction, but such an intervention has not, to our knowledge, been attempted in humans (Jain et al., 2016). If a hormetic intervention such as intermittent hypoxia were successful in humans, medical providers would need to be interested in and equipped to understand and implement the clinical intervention. In this study, a pre-medical instructor surveyed students following researchers’ educational presentation, and found that students had increased confidence in understanding mitochondrial pathology in the CDR, and additionally were moderately to extremely interested in learning more about the topic in their graduate education (Table 1). Further studies are needed to determine whether the hypothesized interventions could have significant effect, and whether the virtual presentation style could be utilized to successfully educate medical students and professionals.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons