University of Pennsylvania
Vivian Gama lab
The Gama lab seeks to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that mediate stem cell pluripotency and differentiation to a particular fate, with an emphasis on discovering the role of the BCL-2 family of proteins and other mitochondrial interactors in these cellular decisions. One such protein, DRP1, is a GTPase that plays a crucial role in mitochondrial fission and patients with mutations in DRP1 exhibit mostly neurological phenotypes. My project will characterize the mitochondrial dysfunction and its downstream consequences in DRP1 patient-derived stem cells, neural progenitors, and neurons.