Fabienne C. Fiesel, Ph.D., conducts research focused on understanding the cellular biological mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders with the goal of developing new biomarkers and disease-modifying therapeutics. At the heart of her interest is a fundamental protective pathway that is disrupted in familial forms of early-onset Parkinson's disease. This pathway ensures the elimination of worn out or dangerously damaged mitochondria in healthy cells. Dr. Fiesel's research primarily uses cell culture models and a combinatorial approach of molecular biology, biochemistry and imaging.
- Biomarker discovery. By comparing whole genome sequencing data, gene expression, and small molecule metabolites from cells obtained from healthy and affected individuals as well as isogenic genome-edited cells, Dr. Fiesel seeks to define novel biomarker panels for defects in mitochondrial quality control.
- Translational drug discovery. In collaboration with Wolfdieter Springer, Ph.D., and Thomas Caulfield, Ph.D., Dr. Fiesel is working to develop preclinical small molecule activators of mitochondrial quality control.
Significance to patient care
Dr. Fiesel's research aims to generate specific biomarkers for mitochondrial quality control to stratify patients for clinical trials and predict targeted therapeutics. Preclinical tool compounds will be useful for target validation with the ultimate goal to treat and cure disease.
- Recipient, Gerstner Family Award for Career Development, Mayo Clinic, 2018