Dr Tony Hickey

Profile Image
Associate Professor

Research | Current

Research interests

  • Mitochondrial function and dysfunction

Fundamentally my interests are mitochondria, in terms of their function, stability and composition. We have and continue to explore how they vary and have evolved within tissues, among tissues, among species, and under stress and in disease.  Currently our projects are exploring mitochondrial function in skeletal and heart mitochondria in contexts of diabetes and hypertension.

We recently have been awarded a Health Research Council (HRC) to explore mitochondrial function in sepsis and pancreatitis in collaboration with the Auckland Medical School’s Pancreatitis research Group Headed by Professor John Windsor, and Dr Anthony Phillips.   We also have links with the Human Nutrition Unit to explore mitochondrial function and multiple organ failure in the face of pancreatitis and obesity.

I also hold a Marsden Grant to explore mitochondrial function in endemic fish species in the context of climate change and recently have completed work exploring mitochondrial function across different fish species of different ecotypes. With Dr Mary Sewell we aim to expanding this to explore our studies to investigate the impacts of ocean acidification.

In our group we have developed assays to test mitochondrial function and free radical production from mitochondria. To test respirational function we use high resolution respirometers and purpose designed assays (example outlined below) we are able to rapidly explore mitochondrial function.

Areas of expertise

Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Reilly, B. D., Hickey, A. J. R., Cramp, R. L., & Franklin, C. E. (2014). Decreased hydrogen peroxide production and mitochondrial respiration in skeletal muscle but not cardiac muscle of the green-striped burrowing frog, a natural model of muscle disuse. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL BIOLOGY, 217 (7), 1087-1093. 10.1242/jeb.096834
  • Iftikar, F. I., & Hickey, A. J. R. (2013). Do mitochondria limit hot fish hearts? Understanding the role of mitochondrial function with heat stress in Notolabrus celidotus. PLoS One, 8 (5)10.1371/journal.pone.0064120
  • Hickey, A. J., Jüllig M, Aitken, J., Loomes, K., Hauber, M., & Phillips, A. R. (2012). Birds and longevity: Does flight driven aerobicity provide an oxidative sink?. Ageing Research Reviews, 11 (2), 242-253. 10.1016/j.arr.2011.12.002
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17808
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Mia Jullig, Anthony Phillips
  • Hickey, A. J., Renshaw, G. M. C., Speers-Roesch, B., Richards, J. G., Wang, Y., Farrell, A. P., & Brauner, C. J. (2012). A radical approach to beating hypoxia: depressed free radical release from heart fibres of the hypoxia-tolerant epaulette shark (Hemiscyllum ocellatum). Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology, 182 (1), 91-100. 10.1007/s00360-011-0599-6
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/16306