The Alder Lab, Nathan Alder PI, was recently awarded three substantial grants. The first, a grant from the National Institute on Aging, (R01AG065879), "First-in-class Peptide Therapeutics for Mitochondrial Disorders: Molecular Mechanism of Action and Optimization of Design." This five-year R01 for $2.5M is focused on investigating the molecular basis by which mitochondria-targeted peptide compounds interact with membranes and their downstream effects on membrane biophysical properties, protein complex structure and function, and mitochondrial physiology. This is a highly multidisciplinary project that includes collaborators within MCB and from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and Alexandria LaunchLabs. View Abstract
Alder's research was featured in UConn Today.
The Barth Syndrome Foundation awarded the group a $50K grant to develop peptide-based therapeutics specifically for the treatment of Barth Syndrome (BTHS), "Development of Mitochondria-Targeted Peptide Compounds as Barth Syndrome Therapeutics." BTHS is an X-linked genetic disease resulting from defects in the transacylase enzyme tafazzin, involved in biosynthetic remodeling of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin. Using a host of biophysical approaches with model membrane systems and disease models, this work will explore a library of compound variants optimized as therapeutics for treating dysfunctional cardiolipin biogenesis. Learn more about how this grant will be used.
The group also received a grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Grant (R01GM136975), "Mitochondrial Membrane Compartmentalization". This is a multi-PI grant, with collaborator Dr. Steven Claypool (JHU School of Medicine), for $774K over two years. The objective of this work is to elucidate spatial and temporal distribution of lipids and proteins within the subcompartments of the morphologically complex mitochondrion. This will identify how the organelle establishes its ultrastructure as well as differences in spatiotemporal macromolecular distribution relevant to human disease and cellular stressors. This work utilizes novel membrane-active copolymers that extract membrane nanoparticles amenable for protein and lipid analysis. View Abstract
To learn more about the Alder Lab and their research, visit their lab website.