Key Research Interests and Expertise

Mitochondria are central to energy metabolism in our cells. My interests cover the molecular and bioenergetic processes that occur in mitochondria and how they relate to our health. Membrane proteins are fundamental to mitochondrial energy transduction and uncoupling proteins (UCP1-5), in particular, are a current research focus of mine. UCP1 is the protein in mammals that allows brown adipose tissue to burn off calories as heat in response to cold temperatures. If activated in humans, UCP1-dependent thermogenesis can contribute to energy expenditure and help combat obesity and related disease. Other UCPs have been linked to metabolic disorders, cancer, inflammation, ischemic shock and aging, though their exact function is not clear. My research aims to resolve the molecular and structural mechanisms that underlie UCP activity and regulation and, importantly, the function that these unusual proteins may play in pathophysiology and prevention of disease.

Research Group Membership

Danielle Copeman (senior technician)

Camila Cotrim (post-doc)

Riccardo Cavalieri (PhD student)

Margeoux Dela Rosa (PhD student)

Eden Joyce (MSc student)

 

ID: 90183027