Michael Teitell, the director of the UCLA cancer center, is a regular on the sidelines.

In his role as a researcher and the Director of UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Dr. Michael Teitell has unveiled groundbreaking research that challenges conventional wisdom regarding the fixed nature of mitochondria within cells. In a unique setting at a football practice, amidst blaring music and the energetic atmosphere, Dr. Teitell discussed the unexpected finding that mitochondria can move between cells, influencing the metabolism of the recipient cells with Chuck Culpepper from the Washington Post

Dr. Teitell was there at football practice as part of his role as UCLA's NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative for Intercollegiate Athletics. Beyond his scientific pursuits, Dr. Teitell's engagement in college sports adds a distinctive flavor to his persona. He expressed enthusiasm for understanding the natural occurrences of mitochondria mobility between cells. His dual role as a cancer center director and a sports enthusiast gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of academia and athletics.

Despite the common skepticism surrounding the midsummer news of UCLA and Southern California's shift to the Big Ten, Dr. Teitell said he embraced the change, anticipating greater resources for mental health, nutrition, academics, career development, athletics aid, and NIL opportunities. His measured response to UCLA football's impressive 6-0 start and top-ten ranking showcased a pragmatic yet optimistic viewpoint, emphasizing the hard work of the team against tough opponents.

Dr. Teitell's passion extends beyond the laboratory as he immerses himself in the culture of college sports. From observing the dynamics between players and coaches to analyzing the overall environment, he sees sports as an integral part of societal engagement and a vital component of university life. His belief in the synergy between academics and athletics is rooted in evidence, noting that student-athletes often perform better during their seasons due to enhanced time-management skills.

Dr. Teitell has a unique blend of scientific innovation and genuine appreciation for college sports. From his role as a faculty athletic representative to his observations on the positive impact of sports on students' lives, he emerges as a multifaceted personality with a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of science, academia, and sports.