MitoCure Lab

Research

Research

The MitoCure Lab aims to understand aging at the cellular level through its research. 

About the Lab

Established in 2018, MitoCure is led by Dr. 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.

Our 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 health, MitoCure aspires to mitigate the aging process and extend the human healthspan. Our objective is to map pathways and cellular processes that are differentially regulated during aging so that targeted therapeutics can be designed to promote healthspan.

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