We use advanced microscopy to understand how cellular structures perform their functions within the context of the cell environment — and how these functions contribute to health and disease.

Eukaryotic cells contain membrane-encapsulated compartments, called organelles, that perform specific jobs to maintain cell health and function. In the Mosalaganti lab, we investigate lysosomes — organelles initially thought to primarily serve a role of ‘waste management’ within the cell — and their roles in human health and disease.

We now know that lysosomes are critical for many cellular functions, most notably in integrating various environmental and physiological signals and controlling cellular growth and survival. 

Our goal is to decode how malfunctioning lysosomal pathways contribute to neurodegenerative diseases. Towards this, we are primarily working on addressing the following questions:

  1. How do mutations in lysosomal membrane proteins cause lysosomal storage disorders?
  2. How do lysosomal pathways contribute to the propagation and clearance of pathological aggregates in diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)?
  3. What is the architecture of contact sites formed by lysosomes, and how are they impacted in disease?

We combine state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscopy/tomography and correlative microscopy approaches with biochemical and cell biological methods to address these questions.