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.

Pagliarini Lab

Updates from the Lab

  • Dr. Rachel Guerra joins the lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow after completing her thesis work with Professor Loren Walensky at Harvard University.

  • Andrew Sung (MSTP) joins the lab.

  • Laura Steenberge (MSTP) joins the lab.

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Principal Investigator Dave Pagliarini

I lead the Metabolism research theme at Morgridge. In this role, I am helping to build a campus-wide metabolism initiative by recruiting talented and collaborative new investigators, assisting with the development of new leading-edge metabolism-related facilities, and promoting a more cohesive metabolism research culture in Madison. I am also an Associate Professor of Biochemistry at UW-Madison. My laboratory is an interdisciplinary team of scientists driven to understand the biochemical underpinnings of mitochondrial dysfunction in human diseases. We integrate large-scale methodologies with traditional biochemistry to investigate the modulation, adaptation and basic metabolic function of mitochondria.

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