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 metabolic pathways and processes. Dysfunction of these organelles underlies more than 150 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. By blending classic biochemistry, molecular & cellular biology, and bioenergetics with large-scale proteomics and systems approaches, our lab aims to systematically annotate the functions of uncharacterized mitochondrial proteins (MXPs) and to establish the detailed mechanisms that drive essential mitochondrial pathways.