Research Team: Laurie S. Kaguni, Shelagh Ferguson-Miller, Kathleen A. Gallo, John L. Goudreau, John J. LaPres, Kyle E. Miller.
Mission: The mission of the MSU Center for Mitochondrial Science and Medicine (MitoSci Med) is to advance our understanding of the links between mitochondrial function, the aging process and disease pathology using the cross-disciplinary expertise inherent in our research group, cutting edge technology, and novel model organisms.
Vision: MitoSci Med envisions that our collaborative efforts and “systems” approach will increase our understanding of how the natural aging process, disease progression and susceptibility are linked to mitochondrial deregulation and function. Specifically, this ground-breaking global strategy will link directly changes in mitochondrial biogenesis, energetics, and organellar functions to nuclear communication, to pathological alterations in cellular homeostasis, leading to aging and disease.
External Trends: There is recent recognition that a common factor in many of the chronic, age-related diseases is a breakdown or disturbance in the cell’s ability to produce energy. Central to the cellular energy producing capacity is the mitochondrion, an organelle that plays a crucial role in multiple metabolic processes, and whose dysfunction is linked directly to many pathologies, including those most represented in an aging population. Therefore, a clear understanding of mitochondrial function and energy production and how these processes are deregulated in common disease states, is essential to treating them effectively (and economically). Recently, the NIH has acknowledged this fundamental gap in our understanding and has begun the planning process for its Mitochondrial Medicine in Human Health Roadmap Initiative. The creation of MitoSci Med, with its novel thrust and interdisciplinary approach aligns it directly with the current trend towards integrative multifaceted science to tackle complex diseases.