Mitochondria are dynamic organelles central to energy production, metabolism, signaling and apoptosis. Proper mitochondrial function is critical for the maintenance of cellular energy and metabolic homeostasis as well as for the activation of appropriate stress responses. A major bioenergetic function of mitochondria is to produce ATP through a process of oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). Mitochondrial dysfunction caused by genetic mutations that impair OXPHOS or energy production leads to a clinical onset of mitochondrial disease in which the high-energy-demanding tissues such as the nervous system, skeletal muscle and heart are predominantly affected. The estimated prevalence of mitochondrial disease is ~ 1:5,000. Mitochondrial dysfunction also increases with age and is associated with several age-related disorders including neurodegenerative diseases, metabolic syndrome and cancer. Currently, there is no cure for mitochondrial disease or dysfunction.
Sirtuins are a family of NAD+-dependent protein deacetylases/mono-ADP-ribosyl transferases that have been implicated in the regulation of metabolic and energy homeostasis, stress responses, cell survival and aging. My research is focused on understanding how mammalian sirtuins impact mitochondrial bioenergetics, function and metabolism in healthy and disease states by employing a multi-disciplinary approach that involves biochemical, cell biological and mouse modeling experiments. The long-term goal of my research is to understand and identify novel signaling pathways that can improve mitochondrial dysfunction during disease and aging.
Education and Training
- Harvard University: Postdoctoral fellowship , Cell Biology
- University of Miami School of Medicine: Postdoctoral fellowship , Cell Biology
- University of Miami School of Medicine: Ph.D. , Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology
- Madurai Kamaraj University: M.S. , Biotechnology
- Delhi University: B.S. , Botany
- Postdoctoral fellowship, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School
Awards and Honors
- United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Award, 2009-2011
- Seahorse Bioscience Travel Award, 2014
- Carilion Clinic Research Acceleration Program Grant Award, 2018-2019