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Welcome to the Cartoni lab website!

Our lab is passionated about mitochondria biology. Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles responsible for key cellular processes such as ATP production, calcium homeostasis, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species management and cell signaling. The key questions that drive our research are:

-How do cells spatially allocate mitochondria to meet local needs?

-How are mitochondrial functions tailored to specific cellular environment?

-How are mitochondrial functions regulated during cellular insults and can we improve repair mechanism by modulating these functions?

We study these fascinating questions in projecting neurons of the retina, the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RGCs relay the visual information captured by the photoreceptors to the brain via their axons that extend through the optic nerve. Therefore, RGCs are crucial to transmit electric signal from the retina to the brain and produce vision.

Numerous blinding diseases such as glaucoma and Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy are caused by RGC degeneration. Of significance, mitochondrial dysfunction has been shown to be a common theme in many of these neurodegenerative diseases. In this context, our goal is to stimulate mitochondrial medicine by uncovering novel fundamental mechanisms of mitochondrial biology.

We are proud to be an active member of the Duke University community. The lab is affiliated with the Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, the Department of Ophthalmology, the Department of Neurobiology, the Duke Eye Center and the Albert Eye Research Institute.

The Cartoni lab is committed to nurture a supportive and respectful environment for everyone regardless of people’s race, ethnicity, language spoken, disability, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status or religion.