Lucas Jae, PhD
Mitochondria are ancient cellular structures that serve a suite of important functions, including the generation of ATP, needed to execute cellular tasks. Consequently, mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with a wide range of human diseases and aging. The organelle is constantly exposed to various types of threats but, surprisingly, is unable to defend itself. Instead, it needs to alert the surrounding cell to orchestrate appropriate stress responses. Despite the ancient origin of mitochondria, these defense mechanisms seem to have diverged in evolution and are only beginning to be deciphered in the human system.
Lucas Jae’s laboratory combines genome engineering and synthetic biology approaches with genome-wide functional genomics to study how human cells respond to perturbations of their proteome, particularly in the context of dysfunctional mitochondria. The goal is to map the pathways that become engaged, understand their interaction and how they ultimately decide the fate of the cell. In the future, such knowledge may help to manipulate maladaptive responses observed in human disease scenarios.
Lucas Jae is a professor of functional genomics at the Gene Center of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany. He was previously an independent group leader at the same institute, following his graduate studies and a brief stint as postdoctoral fellow with Thijn Brummelkamp at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In recognition of his work, Lucas Jae was previously awarded the Antoni von Leeuwenhoek award, Cord-Michael Becker prize, Heinz Maier-Leibnitz prize, ERC starting grant, Aventis Life Sciences Bridge award and Alfried Krupp award.