Our Centers / 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 and 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

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. 

Meet our center’s experts

Our center is supported by a knowledgeable team of researchers, staff and visionary leaders who are at the leading edge of their fields.


For questions about collaborations and center administration, please contact:

profile picture for Gina Dunphy

Gina Dunphy

Executive Assistant

Support the Biodesign Center for Bioenergetics

Improving diagnoses and treatments for diseases caused by impaired energy metabolism