Dr. Frisard researches mitochondrial structure and function, with an emphasis on skeletal muscle. She seeks to understand the mechanisms behind obesity, diabetes, and inflammatory myopathies, in order to test new therapies.
A host of diseases and disorders are associated with defects in the mitochondrion—the energy “powerhouse” found in most eukaryotic cells, responsible for cellular energy, signaling, cellular differentiation, control of the cell cycle and cell growth, and cell death. Some of the most common are diabetes, obesity, and inflammatory myopathies—diseases affecting skeletal muscle. Dr. Frisard studies the structure and function of mitochondria—including how they fuse and break apart—in order to understand how deregulation occurs and can contribute to disease. Specifically, she looks at how diets high in fat and sugar contribute to this processs.