Damon Runyon Researchers

Meet Our Scientists
Danielle Grotjahn, PhD

A unifying hallmark of several types of cancer is the uncontrolled fragmentation of mitochondria, the microscopic compartments that generate energy for the cell. Although many key players have been implicated in this process, the manner in which these factors assemble to modify the mitochondrial architecture and induce the unrestricted fragmentation associated with cancer is unknown. Dr. Grotjahn [Nadia's Gift Foundation Innovator] uses cutting-edge instrumentation, powerful electron microscopes, and pioneering image processing techniques to visualize this process inside cancer cells. Her work has the potential to identify new targets to block mitochondrial fragmentation as a future therapeutic strategy to prevent cancerous cell proliferation and tumor growth.

Project title: "Uncovering structural mechanisms of mitochondrial fragmentation in cancer by cellular cryo-electron tomography"
Institution: The Scripps Research Institute
Named Award: Nadia's Gift Foundation Innovator
Award Program: Innovator
Cancer Type: All Cancers
Research Area: Structural Biology