Konstantin Khrapko

Konstantin Khrapko is Professor of Biology at Bouve College of Health Sciences - Pharmaceutical Sciences. He works primarily on mitochondria and its role in aging, focusing on the basic biology of aging, dynamics of intracellular mitochondrial population, human evolution, somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations, their abundance and relevance to human aging and disease.

The main approach in Khrapko's laboratory is single molecule analysis. Their signature technology is high efficiency single molecule PCR supplemented with next generation sequencing (Illumina platform). They are currently developing other approaches for analysis of individual mtDNA molecules based on the latest sequencing technologies (NanoPore and Pacific BioSciences).

mtDNA Mitochondria are cellular organelles responsible for ATP production as well as many other cellular processes, from calcium homeostasis to apoptosis. Mitochondria are the only animal organelle that carries its own genome, mtDNA. mtDNA suffers high levels of somatic mutations which are suspected of being involved in aging and carcinogenesis. Khrapko's lab is studying mutations in mtDNA and their effects on cellular physiology, aging and disease. They also use mtDNA mutations to trace mtDNA lineages and to study human evolution.