Understanding mitochondrial dynamics
This image shows a 3D electron microscopy reconstruction of mitochondria in the hippocampus of an Alzheimer's disease model. This work is one example of our push to better understand early molecular mechanisms of disease and find new treatment options.
Eugenia Trushina, Ph.D., is determined to find better treatments for a variety of neurodegenerative diseases that currently have limited options. Dr. Trushina's research in her Mitochondrial Neurobiology and Therapeutics Laboratory focuses on understanding the early molecular mechanisms of these diseases, with a special emphasis on the contributing role of altered mitochondrial dynamics and function. Dr. Trushina's work could benefit people with Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and metabolic disorders.
Studies in our lab provide a foundation for the development of disease-modifying mitochondria-targeted interventions. For example, based on basic science research, our research 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, our team identified small molecules that restore mitochondrial dynamics and axonal trafficking, which in animal models of Alzheimer's disease led to protection of cognitive function and significant delays in the onset of symptoms.
Our 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 that include metabolomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and epigenetics.
Our model systems include primary neuronal cultures, primary and immortalized human cell lines, multiple animal models, and human biofluids and tissue.
About Dr. Trushina
Dr. Trushina has expertise in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Trushina's goal is to develop new treatments that can delay the onset of symptoms and improve quality of life for patients. In addition to serving as principal investigator of the Mitochondrial Neurobiology and Therapeutics Lab, she is a professor of neurology and a professor of pharmacology at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester.