Research

Dr. Khdour has been studying cell energy-producing mechanisms and their malfunctions for nearly one decade. Breakdowns in that system are most likely to affect organs that burn a lot of energy, such as the heart, muscles, and brain. His research pursues improved diagnostics and treatments for diseases that result when the cell's power generators called mitochondria do not function properly. Mitochondrial dysfunction is believed to play a pivotal role in diseases ranging from obesity and heart attack to stroke and neurodegenerative diseases. There are also a number of rare genetic diseases that affect the mitochondria.

  • Mitochondrial therapeutic agents:  Dr. Khdour’s research experience reflects his multidisciplinary interest. He was originally trained as a biologist in his undergraduate studies before pursuing his Ph.D. in Chemistry. Following his Ph.D. studies in the area of synthetic organic chemistry, he has pursued biological studies that have built on his expertise in medicinal chemistry-based research. Currently, his research is focused on developing novel, mechanism-based strategies for suppressing redox stress within mitochondria and bypassing mitochondrial defects in the electron transport chain, thereby restoring cellular energy levels.

  • Research involves the implementation of strategies for the cell- and organelle-specific delivery of potential therapeutic agents, prodrug and profluorescent compounds for selective mitochondrial imaging and therapeutic targeting.

  • Conducts research into the biology and pathology of mitochondrial involvement in the etiology of representative mitochondrial disorders and Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Explores whether pharmacological intervention, using phenothiazine analogues as an alternative electron carrier, can bypass the proximal (damaged) electron transport chain (ETC) complexes, thereby preventing the energy crisis and lethal cell injury associated with oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) disease, while increasing mitochondrial biogenesis and function, as well as restoring frataxin levels.