Functional Genomics of Mitochondria

Objectives: To characterize mitochondrial signal transduction cascades that occur in response to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli.

Mitochondria are cellular organelles capable of decoding intracellular signals into markedly different actions, from energy production to cell death. Mitochondria from virtually all vertebrates are integrated into signal transduction cascades that regulate neurotransmission, muscle contraction, hormone secretion, and cell proliferation. Although a mitochondrial role in signal transduction has been suggested, it is still a mystery how the organelle senses, deciphers, and responds to intracellular and extracellular signals. Our laboratory aims at identifying the molecular machines and mechanisms responsible for transmitting information to and from mitochondria and at elucidating their involvement in human diseases. To this goal, we combine large-scale, computational and experimental strategies with focused genetic, biochemical, and physiological studies of mitochondrial functions in fungi, mouse, and human cells.

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