Biodesign Center for Bioenergetics

Diagnosing and treating mitochondrial defects

Contained in nearly every cell type of the body are tiny structures called mitochondria. These pill-shaped organelles play a key role in metabolism, growth, muscle function and provide the energy needed for good health. Defects in mitochondria can result in serious, sometimes fatal, diseases.

The Biodesign Center for Bioenergetics focuses on improved diagnosis and treatment for diseases caused by mitochondrial defects. The majority of these diseases are degenerative and affect children and young adults. Characteristics include suboptimal heart and muscle function, speech problems and developmental delays. Dysfunctional mitochondria are associated with Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ataxias, diabetes and cancer.




Sidney M. Hecht, PhD


Sidney Hecht researches diseases caused by defects in the body's energy production processes. Energy production is similar mechanistically to other molecular processes that he has studied extensively. Hecht played a key role in the development of Hycamtin, a drug used to treat ovarian and lung cancer, as well as the study of the mechanism of the anti-tumor agent bleomycin.


Shengxi Chen

Associate Research Professor

Larisa Dedkova

Associate Research Professor

Sidney M. Hecht

Director, Biodesign Center for Bioenergetics

Omar Khdour

Assistant Research Professor


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