Principal Investigator

Gerald Shadel


Staff Scientists

Zheng Hu

Staff Scientist

My research interest focuses on innovative and unbiased systems biology approaches, such as genomic, epigenomic and epi-transcriptomic analysis, in order to identify the novel regulators and pathways involved in mitochondrial stress signaling and aging in yeast, mammalian and human cells.

Uri Manor

Staff Scientist

As Director of the Advanced Biophotonics Core Facility at the Salk Institute, Uri Manor’s primary focus is the integration and application of optical and charged particle detection technologies to study problems of critical biological significance. Manor’s current research focuses on developing novel artificial intelligence approaches to increase the resolution, sensitivity and speed of the next generation of microscopes, as well as designing nanoprobes for high spatiotemporal resolution imaging of subcellular dynamics. His main biological interests are mitochondria, hearing loss, neurodegeneration and synaptic plasticity.

Prior to joining Salk, Manor did his PhD thesis research work with Bechara Kachar (NIH), and his postdoctoral training with Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz (NIH and Janelia Farms) using advanced quantitative imaging approaches, such as superresolution and live cell imaging, automated analysis and segmentation of microscopy data, and computational modeling of biophysical and biochemical dynamics in the cell. By the time Manor completed his postdoctoral training, he had published 17 peer-reviewed publications, all of which relied on his imaging or image analysis skills.


Kailash Chandra Mangalhara


I received my Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India with a focus on understanding the role of microRNAs in cancer. In the Shadel Lab, I am working on mitochondria-to-nucleus signaling pathways and the role of mitochondrial metabolism in tumor growth, immunogenicity and immunotherapy responses.

Alex Moyzis


I received my Ph.D. from UCSD in Dr. Asa Gustafsson’s lab, where I studied mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy in cardiovascular disease. I was excited to join the Shadel lab, and I am currently investigating the role of mtDNA stress in promoting autoimmune-related IFN responses and pathology in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Laura Newman


I earned my PhD in Rick Kahn’s lab at Emory University, where I studied a small, regulatory GTPase and its functions in mitochondria and mitochondrial dynamics. I joined the Shadel lab so that I could continue studying mitochondria, and I am currently interested in the role of mitochondria in innate immune signaling.
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Ulas Ozkurede


I majored in electrical and electronics engineering, and received a master’s degree in molecular biology and genetics at Bogaizici University, Istanbul. For my PhD training, I joined the Miller Lab at the University of Michigan, where I studied long-lived mice to assess the role of mitochondrial maintenance on delaying detrimental consequences of aging. We found that long-lived mice had an improved capacity to respond to mitochondrial stress in vivo, and were able to maintain mitochondrial function after stress exposure at the cellular level. At Salk, with Dr. Shadel, we are investigating the long-term protective effects of transient mitochondrial disturbance, and the mechanisms underlying this adaptive response.

Nimesha Tadepalle


I earned my PhD from University of Cologne, Germany where I studied the function of lipid droplets in the neurodegenerative disease hereditary spastic paraplegia. I am interested in understanding the underlying pathological pathways leading to neurodegenerative diseases. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia affecting over 5 million Americans. Numerous failed clinical trials have led us to revisit the contribution of amyloid plaques in AD. Chronic inflammation with mtDNA as the signaling molecule has been implicated in disease pathology, including in neurodegenerative diseases. In the Shadel lab I am interested in understanding the role of mtDNA-mediated innate immune response in AD.

Cara Schiavon


I earned my PhD at Emory University in Rick Kahn’s lab where I studied the role of a small GTPase and its GAP in regulating mitochondrial dynamics. I’m currently studying the role of altered mitochondrial and other organellar dynamics/trafficking in Charot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Graduate Students

Melissa Roberts

Graduate Student

Cancer cells are able to reconfigure their metabolism to support the energy demands of uncontrolled proliferation and promote survival in nonpermissive environments. I am interested in studying how and why this oncogene-directed metabolic reprogramming occurs, and what role it plays in immune evasion through metabolic crosstalk between cancer cells and T cells within the tumor microenvironment.

Rachael Schwartz

Graduate Student

Cellular senescence is a defense mechanism against cancer in which damaged cells in the body enter replicative arrest and assume a pro-inflammatory phenotype.  These cells accumulate in our bodies with age, and the chronic inflammation they produce can have adverse effects, including causing stem cell dysfunction and, perversely, promoting cancer.  My work involves identifying senescent cells and determining how they can be eliminated from various types of tissues in the body, while leaving healthy cells untouched.  I am focusing on the ways in which changes in mitochondria that occur as we age can lead to cellular senescence.
Lab Technician

Gladys Rojas

Lab Technician I

Exchange Students

Alva Sainz

Yale PhD Student

Aging is associated with chronic inflammation that contributes to the development and progression of age-related pathologies. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has recently been identified as a pathogenic signal that is able to activate several pro-inflammatory signaling pathways. My work involves investigating the contribution of mtDNA signaling to the aging process and understanding how this signaling is regulated.
Lab Coordinator

Kym Miller

Lab Coordinator

I obtained my PhD in Immunology from the University of California, Irvine and did my postdoc at Institut Pasteur, Paris. I joined the Shadel lab as lab coordinator in 2019 with the aim of investigating the role of mitochondria in innate immune responses. My favorites in life are Bisous (my dog), cheese, and the occasional liquid brunch with friends.

Laboratory Alumni

Zheng Wu

Yale PhD Student