Current Projects

Mitochondria in Synaptic Function

  1. Managing Director
    Synaptic function relies on mitochondrial energy delivery and calcium buffering at the expense of increased oxidative damaged to the organelle. It is hypothesized that a recycling mechanism ensures replenishment of damaged mitochondria for continued synaptic function. We are interested in studying these mechanisms in motor neurons, where accumulation of damaged mitochondria has been associated with denervation of muscles in diseases like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The figure depicts known molecular players likely involved in inbound and outbound transport of pre-synaptic mitochondria
  2. Managing Director
    The study of mitochondrial ion channels changed our perception of these double-wrapped organelles from being just the power house of a cell to the guardian of a cell's fate. Mitochondria communicate with the cell through these special channels. Most of the time, the message is encoded by ion flow across the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes. Potassium, sodium, calcium, protons, nucleotides, and proteins traverse the mitochondrial membranes in an exquisitely regulated manner to control a myriad of processes, from respiration and mitochondrial morphology to cell proliferation and cell death. We employ patch clamp, live fluorescence microscopy, and biochemical approaches to study how mitochondria communicate with other cellular compartments in normal and stressed conditions.

Mitochondrial Permeability

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