Mark Harmon's biography and research focus.
My research focuses on the role of inter-organelle contacts in neurodegeneration with a specific interest in ER-mitochondria interactions. Disruptions to organelle contact points have been observed in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Using split fluorescent reporter proteins targeted to the ER and mitochondria respectively, we can visualise and detect these contact sites in living cells to try and elucidate the functional consequences of any alterations to these sites which may be involved in neuronal cell death. In particular, we are interested in the role of VAPB in tethering the ER and mitochondria together and its link to ALS type 8.
Harmon M, Larkman P, Hardingham G, Jackson M, Skehel P. A Bi-fluorescence complementation system to detect associations between the Endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria. Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):17467.