Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Genetics - Overview


In many ways, we are our genes. At Salk, we explain the role of genes in everything from how tumors form to why certain people are at higher risk for neurological disorders.


Mitochondrial Disease

For the thousands of women around the globe who carry a mitochondrial disease, having a healthy child can be a gamble. This set of diseases affects mitochondria, tiny powerhouses that generate energy in the body’s cells; they are passed exclusively from mother to child. At Salk, we are pioneering techniques to eliminate mitochondrial mutations from eggs or early embryos, a breakthrough with the potential to prevent babies from inheriting mitochondrial diseases. Additionally, our research on metabolism has suggested that high-fat diets may help control the symptoms of these disorders. Not only do we want to improve the lives of people with mitochondrial disorders, we aim to stop the chain of heredity for good.

Gerald Shadel, PhD


Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory