José L. Avalos, Ph.D.


My lab will explore new paradigms to study mitochondrial biology, including mitochondrial dynamics and metabolism, using systems and synthetic biology. Mitochondria play a role in many cellular processes, from energy production to amino acid metabolism. Defects in any of these key activities are associated with a variety of human diseases, including metabolic disorders and cancer. As a postdoctoral fellow, I developed biosensors to monitor mitochondrial amino acid metabolism in yeast. Using these biosensors, in combination with genomics, computational methods, and cutting-edge synthetic biology, we plan to catalog the genes involved in the metabolism and transport of amino acids in mitochondria—findings that could pave the way toward new strategies to treat mitochondrial-related diseases.

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