About the Lab

The Mitochondrial Neurobiology and Therapeutics Laboratory of Eugenia Trushina, Ph.D., at Mayo Clinic focuses on understanding the early molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis, metabolic disorders and aging, with a special emphasis on the contributing role of altered mitochondrial dynamics and function.

Studies in Dr. Trushina's lab provide a foundation for the development of disease-modifying mitochondria-targeted interventions. For example, based on basic science research, the team identified the inhibition of axonal trafficking of mitochondria as the underlying molecular dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease. This work justified the restoration of axonal trafficking as a therapeutic strategy that targets early mechanisms of disease.

In subsequent studies, Dr. Trushina's research team identified small molecules that restore mitochondrial dynamics and axonal trafficking, which in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease led to protection of cognitive function and significant delays in the onset of Alzheimer's symptoms.

The lab's research tools include:

  • Wet-lab classical biochemistry methods
  • A Seahorse extracellular flux analyzer to assay respiration
  • Fluorescence, confocal and super-resolution microscopy
  • Electron microscopy
  • Flow cytometry analysis of mitochondria subpopulations
  • Surface plasmon resonance technology (Biacore) for drug development
  • Systems biology techniques including metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and epigenetics

The lab's model systems comprise primary neuronal cultures, primary and immortalized human cell lines, multiple animal models — mice, rats and Drosophila — and human biofluids and tissue.