- Professor of Genome Sciences
BMHA Training Faculty, HALO Faculty
Mitochondrial quality control in aging.
Much of Dr. Pallanck’s current work stems from his studies of Drosophila homologs of the Parkinson’s disease-related genes parkin and PINK1. His work on Parkin and PINK1 led to his hypothesis that these factors promote the degradation of damaged mitochondria through mitophagy, a mitochondrial-selective form of autophagy. Work in many different laboratories validated his hypothesis, and mitochondrial quality control now constitutes a major topic of study in his laboratory. In addition, he is also studying the biological functions of the AAA+-family of mitochondrial proteases, the cellular mechanisms that influence mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) frequency, and the biological roles of other Parkinson’s disease-related genes that may also influence mitochondrial quality control. Given his extensive track record of using Drosophila genetics to study fundamental biological problems, his laboratory offers a broad range of training opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in the intersection of mitochondrial quality control with the biology of aging.