Eric A. Schon, PhD
Lewis P. Rowland Professor of Neurology and Genetics Development
H. Houston Merritt Center for Muscular Dystrophy and Related Disorders
» H. Houston Merritt Laboratories for Mitochondrial Disorders & Metabolic Myopathies
» Department of Neurology
» Recent Publications
The research in Dr. Schon's laboratory is two-fold: to understand the basic biology of mammalian mitochondria and to develop strategies to understand and treat human mitochondrial disease. On the more basic side, the laboratory is trying to understand how mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs), which are packaged in protein-DNA aggregates called nucleoids that are attached to the mitochondrial inner membrane, are inherited during the process of cell division. It is also trying to identify genes controlling mitochondrial proliferation in muscle (i.e. formation of "ragged-red fibers"). On the more applied side, the laboratory is developing mouse models to study the pathogenesis of mendelian-inherited mitochondrial respiratory chain diseases, and is working on new approaches to treatment, including a "heteroplasmic shifting" strategy that uses pharmacological agents to reduce the proportion of mutated mtDNAs in patient cells. More recently, Dr. Schon's group has been working on a new approach aimed at understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease, with a long-term goal of trying to develop new strategies to diagnose and treat this neurodegenerative disease.