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Mitochondria control of physiology and disease

Mission of the lab is to discover new biology linked to mitochondria and metabolism that controls physiological responses and diseases including cancer, viral pneumonia, neurological diseases (Parkinson’s, ALS, and Alzheimer) and aging. A key aspect of this mission is also to train the next generation of “discoverers” in a supportive environment.

Lab News

Lab News


Chandel Receives 2023 Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences

Navdeep Chandel, PhD, the David W. Cugell, MD, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care and of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics,  has been named a recipient of the 2023 Lurie Prize in Biomedical  Sciences by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH).


For more information about the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences and a list of previous winners, please visit


Understanding Mitochondrial Dysfunction's Impact on Neurological Diseases

Dr. Chandel discusses a recent study that may improve the understanding of mitochondrial dysfunction and its impact on the development of neurological diseases. The study, led by Greg McElroy, also suggests that targeting mitochondrial complex I linked biology could be a promising therapeutic target for neurological diseases.


Mitochondria Regulate Cellular Signaling for Proper Lung Development

Northwestern Medicine investigators have discovered that mitochondria  regulate essential cellular signaling for the development of epithelial  cells in the lungs, cells which are crucial for the exchange of oxygen  and carbon dioxide to avoid respiratory failure, according to findings published in Nature.



Mitochondrial Metabolism Shows Promise as Target for Cancer Therapy

Dr. Chandel discusses recent publications in the lab demonstrating the essential role of the mitochondrial electron transport chain in tumorigenesis and potential therapeutic avenues for targeting mitochondrial metabolism in the clinic.


Highly Cited Researchers List 2018-2022

Twelve faculty with appointments at Feinberg, including Nav Chandel, were named to the 2022 “Highly Cited Researchers”  list, published by Clarivate Analytics. The annual list identifies  investigators who have demonstrated significant influence in their  field through the publication of highly cited publications during the  last decade.

The data in the list is pulled from papers published in science and  social sciences journals from 2011 through 2021. The list includes those  investigators who rank among the top one percent as the most cited for  their subject field and year of publication.

Podcasts and Other Appearances



Using Metabolism to Improve Skin Aging and Hair Loss

Metabolism has a direct impact on aging and the way we look. On today’s  episode, we discuss the current research around metabolism with experts  Dr. Heather Christofk and Dr. Navdeep Chandel and dive into hair  follicle stem cell activation, a lesson on hyaluronic acid from naked  mole rats, and the complexity of addressing oxidative stress and the  skin’s extracellular matrix.


How Mitochondria Inform Disease Discoveries with Navdeep Chandel, PhD

Mitochondria  are widely known as cellular “powerhouses” for their role in producing  energy for cells. But pioneering research from Northwestern Medicine  investigators over the last 20 years has proven mitochondria are also  major players in lung disease, cancer, brain disease and immune-related  diseases. Navdeep Chandel, PhD, a 2023 recipient of the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, leads this  research. In this episode he discusses how his team’s recent findings  could advance the design and implementation of new therapies.


Why Drug Developers Have a Growing Interest in Targeting Mitochondria

Mitochondria are often referred to as the “powerhouses” of the cell, but  as scientists gain a greater understanding of these essential  organelles, they are coming to discover they play a more expansive role  in health and disease. The Foundation for the National Institutes of  Health named Navdeep Chandel a co-recipient of the 2023 Lurie Prize in  Biomedical Sciences for his research that revealed how mitochondria  function as signaling organelles that control the body’s normal  functions and impact diseases, including cancer and inflammation. We  spoke to Chandel, professor of medicine in the Division of Pulmonary and  Critical Care and of biochemistry and molecular genetics at the  Feinberg School of Medicine, about the state of our understanding of  mitochondria, why drug developers are pursuing therapies to target  mitochondria across a broad range of diseases, and the need for a  concerted effort to conduct fundamental research to better understand  the biology of this organelle.


Metabolism, Mitochondria, and Metformin in Health and Disease

In this podcast episode of The Peter Attia Drive, Navdeep Chandel, PhD discusses the role of mitochondria and metabolism in health and disease. Nav also provides insights into the mitochondria as signaling organelles, antioxidants, and Metformin's multifaceted effects on human health, among many topics related to well-being.


2023 Awards Ceremony: Lurie Prize Award Fireside Chat

Now in its 11th year, the Lurie Prize in Biomedical Sciences recognizes outstanding achievement by promising scientists aged 52 or younger. The prize includes a $50,000 honorarium to each awardee, made possible by a donation to the FNIH by philanthropist Ann Lurie, President of the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation and President of Lurie Holdings, Inc.

The 2023 winners, selected by a distinguished jury of biomedical researchers, chaired by Solomon H. Snyder, MD, Vice Chairman of the FNIH Board, were honored at the FNIH 11th Annual Awards Ceremony on the evening of October 18, 2023, in Washington, D.C.

This video presents the full fireside conversation between FNIH President & CEO Dr. Julie L. Gerberding and the 2023 winners, Dr. Navdeep Chandel and Dr. Vamsi Mootha, taken from the full recording of the 2023 Awards Ceremony.


The Return of Metabolism

In Episode #226 of SmartDrugSmarts, Dr. Chandel shares his research into the subcellular world of mitochondria, ATP, the Krebs Cycle — and how these esoteric interests translate up into real-world lifespan and quality-of-life differences for us big, adult mammals.

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