Michael’s work focuses on autophagy and mitochondrial quality control. The lab uses multiple imaging modalities, including AI-directed volumetric electron microscopy, combined with gene editing and biochemistry to understand the intricate mechanisms of mitophagy and mitochondrial quality control.

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common of the neurodegenerative disorders, affecting 1-2% of the population worldwide. Evidence suggests mitochondrial dysfunction is a central player in the pathogenesis of PD.

Over the last 10 years Michael’s research has focused on solving the mechanisms of PINK1/Parkin mitophagy resulting in a number of ground-breaking discoveries that have advanced our knowledge of the pathway and have informed new therapeutic approaches.


Selected publications from A/Prof Michael Lazarou

Nguyen TN, Padman BS, Zellner S, Khuu G, Uoselis L, Lam WK, Skulsuppaisarn M, Lindblom RSJ, Watts EM, Behrends C, LAZAROU M.
ATG4 family proteins drive phagophore growth independently of the LC3/GABARAP lipidation system. Molecular Cell (2021) 81(9), 2013–2030

Padman BS, Nguyen TN, Uoselis L, Skulsuppaisarn M, Nguyen LK, LAZAROU M. LC3/GABARAPs drive ubiquitin-independent recruitment of Optineurin and NDP52 to amplify mitophagy. Nature Communications (2019) 10(1):408

Nguyen TN, Padman BS, Usher J, Oorschot V, Ramm G, LAZAROU M
Atg8 family LC3/GABARAP proteins are crucial for autophagosome-lysosome fusion but not autophagosome formation during PINK1/Parkin mitophagy and starvation.
Journal of Cell Biology (2016) 215(6):857-874

LAZAROU M, Sliter DA, Kane LA, Sarraf SA, Wang C., Burman JL, Sideris DP, Fogel AI, Youle R.J. The ubiquitin kinase PINK1 recruits autophagy receptors to induce mitophagy.
Nature (2015) 524(7565):309-314

Kane L.A., LAZAROU M., Fogel A.I., Li Y., Yamano K., Sarraf S.A., Banerjee S., Youle R.J. PINK1 phosphorylates ubiquitin to activate Parkin E3 ubiquitin ligase activity.
Journal of Cell Biology (2014) 205(2):143-53

Lab research projects

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