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Nika Danial, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor, Cancer Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Contact Info

Nika Danial
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue

Boston, MA, 02215
Mailstop: CLS11146
Phone: 617-632-6436
Fax: 617-632-5363
Nika_Danial@dfci.harvard.edu

Assistant

Jollanda Lako
Cancer Biology
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
450 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA, 02215
Mailstop: CLS11146
Phone: 617-582-7176
Fax: 617-632-5363
Jollanda_Lako@dfci.harvard.edu

DF/HCC Program Affiliation

Lymphoma and Myeloma
Cancer Cell Biology

Lab Website

Danial Laboratory

Research Abstract

An evolving body of evidence indicates that the cellular response to physiologic and pathophysiologic stress is highly attuned to the bioenergetic state of the cell, including ATP/ADP ratio and redox status (NADH/NAD). These parameters are predominantly influenced by mitochondrial fuel metabolism. Importantly, the versatility of the mitochondrial metabolome to process alternate energy substrates such as carbohydrates, fatty acids and ketone bodies may feature prominently in the manner in which cells interpret and respond to stress stimuli. The primary focus of the Danial laboratory is to delineate cellular energy and nutrient sensing pathways, including metabolic checkpoints that integrate cellular bioenergetics and cellular responses to stress, including the decision to undergo apoptosis. We employ a multi-disciplinary approach that draws on mouse genetics, mitochondrial physiology, shRNA library screens, chemical biology and proteomics to identify key mechanisms that determine the cell’s choice of energy substrates and thereby modulate cellular stress responses. The ultimate goal of this integrated approach is to uncover potential therapeutic targets in order to manipulate cellular energy metabolism in diseases such as cancer, diabetes and neurodegeneration.

Publications

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