Autophagy and Mitochondrial Quality Control

About the lab

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

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.

Lab research projects

Lab team

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.

12 members
Ria Agarwal
Visiting PhD Student
Jacob Ellis
Honours Student
Catharina Kueng
PhD Student
Research Officer
Chantelle Blyth
Visiting PhD Student
Research Officer
Research Officer
Research Officer
Grace Khuu
Research Assistant
Senior Research Officer
Dr Man Lyang Kim
Research Assistant
Interested in supporting our research?

Your support will help WEHI’s researchers make discoveries and find treatments to ensure healthier, longer lives for you and your loved ones.

Contact our friendly team to find out how you can help.