Skip to main content

Gabriella Robertson

Predoctoral Trainee/ Gama Lab


The Gama laboratory seeks to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate stem cell pluripotency and regulate the decision to differentiate to a particular fate, with an emphasis on discovering the role of the BCL-2 family of proteins and other mitochondrial interactors. One protein of interest, MCL-1 (induced myeloid leukemia cell differentiation protein), is a BCL-2 family member that inhibits apoptosis. Previous data from our lab indicate that MCL-1 exerts a non-apoptotic function regulating the mitochondrial morphology and metabolic profile of human stem cells. MCL-1 regulates cell identity in human pluripotent stem cells and neural progenitor cells by interacting with DRP1 (dynamin related protein 1), which is involved in mitochondrial fission, and OPA1 (optic atrophy protein 1), which regulates mitochondrial fusion. However, less is known about the role of MCL-1 in more mature neurons and glial cells. My project will focus on examining the complex molecular mechanisms by which MCL-1 exerts this non-apoptotic function and how this regulation changes throughout neuronal differentiation.