MitoCure Lab

The MitoCure lab, located in the Department of Nutrition and Public Health at Merrimack College, conducts basic research to advance our understanding of metabolic illnesses that come with aging. 

Student holding pipettor in MitoCure LabOur Mission

MitoCure Lab aims to identify and ameliorate the effects of aging through research on cell biology and targeted therapies. By deepening our understanding of how the breakdown of mitochondrial and other organelle functions leads to inflammation and affects the health of the entire human organism, MitoCure aspires to mitigate the aging process and extend the human health span.

About Us

Established in 2018, MitoCure is led by Leena Bharath, the Pasini Professor in Health Sciences at Merrimack College. The lab expands on Bharath’s research on “inflammaging,” the chronic state of inflammation that occurs when we age, which leads to conditions such as diabetes, obesity and immune cell aging.

The MitoCure Lab focuses on understanding aging at the cellular level. Our team is interested in understanding:

  • Changes in immune cell mitochondria during physiological aging.
  • The development and progression of aging-associated metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

Emerging evidence shows a strong association between immune cell metabolism and its function. However, the mechanistic link between immune cell function and aging-associated changes in mitochondrial bioenergetics has not been explored and characterized thoroughly. Our recent findings show that the production of cytokines that are generally known to promote aging-associated diseases depends on the fuel-utilization pathways that the cells prefer. This finding stimulated our interest in studying “mitochondrial aging” and inflammation.

MitoCure Lab: At a Glance


The Lab’s work on “inflammaging” and other research has been shared in a number of publications.

MitoCure Lab Receives NIH Grant

MitoCure was the recipient of a three-year NIH grant that will support the training of undergraduates in hands-on laboratory science.

“The R15 grant is very special because it is specifically for training undergraduate students. The overarching goal of the grant is to encourage smaller colleges like ours to get access to more NIH funding and have greater opportunities to train students at the undergraduate level.”

- Leena Bharath, Principal Investigator, MitoCure Lab

Our Team

  • Leena Bharath, Principal Investigator & Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Public Health
  • Tara Daly, Research Program Manager, CHIRP
  • Emelia Zukowski (Graduate)
  • Lyanne Murphy
  • Heather Marszalkowski
  • Grace McCambridge
  • Jack Rockhold
  • Marco Sanella
  • Thomas Regan
  • Rachel Conway
  • Samantha Durand
  • Alanna Keady (Graduate)
  • Marissa Ricardi
  • Joshua Cayer
  • Lindsey B.
  • Keleigh Gibney
  • Megan Thatcher
  • Reese Ricardi

Photo Gallery

Contact Us

MitoCure Lab
Merrimack College
Dept. of Nutrition & Public Health
O’Reilly Hall 406
315 Turnpike St.
North Andover, MA 01845
Phone: 978-837-3526 Email