Mitochondrial transport and spatial organization of metabolism

The Kory lab focuses on mitochondria, critical organelles in metabolism that generate both energy and precursors for biosynthesis. Beyond their metabolic roles, mitochondria are being recognized as important signaling hubs and mitochondrial dysfunction has been associated with major diseases including cancer, diabetes, and neurodegeneration. For mitochondria to function properly metabolites must be efficiently exchanged with the rest of the cell in a regulated manner.

While metabolites can diffuse through pores in the outer membrane, the inner mitochondrial membrane is impermeable to most metabolites and separates two chemically contrasting environments. We want to understand how mitochondria achieve efficient metabolite exchange and at the same time maintain the unique chemical environment of the mitochondrial matrix. Our goal is to use mitochondrial transport proteins as tools to interrogate metabolic and signaling pathways to understand how mitochondria perform their roles in maintaining metabolic homeostasis.

Cover image: Francesca Bottanelli and Nora Kory; Webdesign: Audrey Fox and Nora Kory