Parkinson’s disease is caused by the death of cells in our brains called neurons. Our research is focused on mitochondrial health, particularly since mitochondrial dysfunction is a common feature in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Mitochondria are small structures within every cell in our body that provide us with the chemical energy that keeps us alive. Mitochondria are also tasked with the important role of maintaining our cells’ health. When mitochondria become damaged, they can activate cell death and unwanted inflammation which can result in the loss of neurons in our brain and cause Parkinson’s disease.
Through our research, we aim to identify interventions that protect mitochondrial health and repair any damage.
Our mission and vision is to advance scientific knowledge in the Parkinson’s field and develop new therapeutic strategies, by gaining a greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction or impaired autophagy.
The Lazarou lab has had a significant impact on the field of mitochondrial biology and autophagy research, particularly in the area of mitophagy (a degradative pathway which culls damaged mitochondria). Their work in this area has helped to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that control mitophagy, including the role of key regulatory proteins such as Parkin and PINK1, which are mutated in Parkinson’s disease.
My team collaborates closely with the Hurley (UC Berkeley, USA), Martens (U Vienna, Austria), Holzbaur (U Penn, USA) laboratories.
Enquiries from students interested in proteomics, stem cells, or electron microscopy are encouraged.