Abstract: Series 107, Lecture 7

The Harvey Lectures Series 107 (2011—2012)

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Lecture #7: Thursday, May 17, 2012 — Time and Location

The Behavior of Mitochondria

Jodi Nunnari, PhD

Jodi Nunnari, PhD

Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

University of California, Davis

Davis, California

Dr Nunnari's Website

Mitochondria are double membrane-bounded organelles that perform a myriad of diverse and essential functions in cells. These functions are dependent on the collective intracellular behavior of the organelle. We have characterized key features of mitochondrial behaviors. Our work has addressed the physiological functions and mechanisms of mitochondrial division and fusion, which are important determinants of overall mitochondrial shape and distribution. We have uncovered contact sites that intimately link mitochondria with the ER and determined their roles in mitochondrial positioning and dynamics. We have also addressed the fundamental question of how mitochondrial membranes are sub-compartmentalized to reveal how the complex internal architecture of the organelle is generated. Our current challenge is to determine how mitochondrial behaviors are integrated with one another and physiologically regulated within cells and organisms.