Welcome to the Mitochondrial Dynamics and Bioenergetics Group at the IMZ!

Mission

The vision of our research is to unravel the molecular mechanisms involved in spatio-temporal OXPHOS organization and the consequences for bionergetics in health and disease. The functionality of mitochondria under certain demands and threats is closely associated with ultrastructural and morphological changes of the organelles, albeit the relation is not fully understood. Thus, a main focus of my studies lies on the dynamic features including the mobility of mitochondrial membrane proteins, plasticity of the inner mitochondrial membrane and morpho-dynamic changes of the mitochondrial network by fusion and fission dynamics controlled by trafficking along the cytoskeleton. In particular, we are interested to dissect mitochondrial heterogeneity in terms of function.

Approach

We study mitochondria in live mammalian cells with diverse advanced microscopic methods. To determine mitochondrial function on the sub-organellar level in situ, we continuously develop and refine fluorescent reporter systems for high and superresolution imaging. For quantitative analysis, programs are adapted in cooperation with the CALMOS and the Biophysics group/Osnabrück. Different transgenic cell lines are used to investigate basic mitochondrial morpho-functional interrelations and the overall significance of organelle and protein dynamics. The spatio-temporal organization of OXPHOS complexes is addressed by dual color superresolution fluorescence and immuno-electron microscopy. We currently set up correlative microscopy as well.