Mitochondria are complex and dynamic organelles that are essential to the survival of nearly every eukaryotic cell. The approximately ten million billion mitochondria throughout our bodies produce the bulk of our chemical energy in the form of ATP and are the cellular home to a vast array of essential metabolic pathways and processes.
Dysfunction of these organelles underlies hundreds of inborn errors of metabolism and strongly contributes to a growing list of common metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders, including type II diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and various forms of cancer.
Despite this central role for mitochondria in human health and disease, much of the basic biology of these organelles remains obscure, and therapeutic options to treat mitochondrial dysfunction remain woefully inadequate. By blending classic biochemistry, molecular & cellular biology, and genetics with large-scale proteomics and systems approaches, our lab aims to systematically define the functions of uncharacterized mitochondrial proteins, identify new gene mutations that underlie human disease, and explore new molecular therapeutics to rectify mitochondria-based disorders.