The Center for Developmental Therapeutics’ programs and labs are pursuing transformative discoveries that improve children’s lives worldwide.
Program in Mitochondrial Biology
The Program in Mitochondrial Biology conducts research that pursues cures for mitochondrial diseases, while providing the best possible care for patients and their families.
Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies Team
The Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies (NeoRest) team is working to reduce infant mortality and morbidity by developing affordable, easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain respiratory support solutions. The team’s goal is to revolutionize the way premature infants are treated in resource-limited countries.
The Hahn Laboratory develops and validates tests that help screen for, diagnose and monitor childhood disorders including mitochondrial diseases, Wilson disease and primary immunodeficiencies.
The Kolker Lab propels biomedical discovery by translating data to knowledge to outcomes. The lab accelerates and optimizes research and clinical work through intuitive, reliable and powerful analytics.
The Morgan Laboratory pioneered the use of C. elegans – a simple invertebrate – to understand the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and anesthetics. By investigating how volatile anesthetics trigger a range of behaviors in mutant animals, the Morgan laboratory identified key molecules that control how C. elegans responds to anesthetics. His laboratory is actively investigating molecules that can reverse shortened life spans and neurological defects in animals with mitochondrial dysfunction.
The Olson Lab is unraveling how changes in cardiac energy production affect heart function, leading to innovative treatments for heart disease.
Portman Research Group
The Portman Research Group is developing innovative ways to protect children’s hearts from damage related to heart surgery, and is improving how the medical community understands and treats Kawasaki disease.
The Quintana Laboratory is investigating why a select group of neurons survive when mitochondrial disease robs them of energy, with the goal of identifying novel targets that lead to improved treatments for patients with mitochondrial disease.
Dr. Russell Saneto’s research focuses on improving detection and treatment of pediatric epilepsies caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. He is also interested in using non-invasive neuroimaging modalities, such as proton magnetic resonance imaging (1H-MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to understand how mitochondrial disease can alter brain development due to alteration of neuronal metabolism and myelination.
Building on work in C. elegans, Dr. Margaret Sedensky’s team has found that disrupting mitochondrial function in mice causes them to be hypersensitive to gas anesthetics. The Sedensky Laboratory has characterized a particular mutant and is actively investigating it. This mutant has unusual behaviors when exposed to several commonly-used anesthetics. The Sedensky Laboratory is working closely with the Morgan Laboratory to study this exciting animal model.