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Research interests

The brain is the most energy consuming organ of the body and is highly sensitive to energetic perturbations. However, regulatory mechanism that modulate neuronal metabolism are poorly understood. In firing nerve terminals, both glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) are rapidly upregulated to meet the energetic requirements of synaptic activity1. While this upregulation represents transient modulation of neuronal metabolism, it is not clear how neurons adapt to chronic changes in energetic burden that also occur in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The research in my lab will be focused on uncovering novel regulators of glycolytic and mitochondrial metabolism at the synapse and their role in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.


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  • Neuronal mitochondria transport Pink1 mRNA via synaptojanin 2 to support local mitophagy

    Harbauer, A. B., Hees, J. T., Wanderoy, S., Segura, I., Gibbs, W., Cheng, Y., Ordonez, M., Cai, Z., Cartoni, R., Ashrafi, G., Wang, C., Perocchi, F., He, Z. & Schwarz, T. L., May 4 2022, In: Neuron. 110, 9, p. 1516-1531.e9

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations
  • Semiautomated analysis of an optical ATP indicator in neurons

    Dehkharghanian, T., Hashemiaghdam, A. & Ashrafi, G., Oct 1 2022, In: Neurophotonics. 9, 4, 041410.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    1 Scopus citations
  • Mitochondria in Neuronal Health: From Energy Metabolism to Parkinson's Disease

    Murali Mahadevan, H., Hashemiaghdam, A., Ashrafi, G. & Harbauer, A. B., Sep 2021, In: Advanced Biology. 5, 9, 2100663.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Open Access
    14 Scopus citations
  • Molecular Tuning of the Axonal Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uniporter Ensures Metabolic Flexibility of Neurotransmission

    Ashrafi, G., de Juan-Sanz, J., Farrell, R. J. & Ryan, T. A., Feb 19 2020, In: Neuron. 105, 4, p. 678-687.e5

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    58 Scopus citations
  • SynGO: An Evidence-Based, Expert-Curated Knowledge Base for the Synapse

    Koopmans, F., van Nierop, P., Andres-Alonso, M., Byrnes, A., Cijsouw, T., Coba, M. P., Cornelisse, L. N., Farrell, R. J., Goldschmidt, H. L., Howrigan, D. P., Hussain, N. K., Imig, C., de Jong, A. P. H., Jung, H., Kohansalnodehi, M., Kramarz, B., Lipstein, N., Lovering, R. C., MacGillavry, H., Mariano, V., & 53 othersMi, H., Ninov, M., Osumi-Sutherland, D., Pielot, R., Smalla, K. H., Tang, H., Tashman, K., Toonen, R. F. G., Verpelli, C., Reig-Viader, R., Watanabe, K., van Weering, J., Achsel, T., Ashrafi, G., Asi, N., Brown, T. C., De Camilli, P., Feuermann, M., Foulger, R. E., Gaudet, P., Joglekar, A., Kanellopoulos, A., Malenka, R., Nicoll, R. A., Pulido, C., de Juan-Sanz, J., Sheng, M., Südhof, T. C., Tilgner, H. U., Bagni, C., Bayés, À., Biederer, T., Brose, N., Chua, J. J. E., Dieterich, D. C., Gundelfinger, E. D., Hoogenraad, C., Huganir, R. L., Jahn, R., Kaeser, P. S., Kim, E., Kreutz, M. R., McPherson, P. S., Neale, B. M., O'Connor, V., Posthuma, D., Ryan, T. A., Sala, C., Feng, G., Hyman, S. E., Thomas, P. D., Smit, A. B. & Verhage, M., Jul 17 2019, In: Neuron. 103, 2, p. 217-234.e4

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
    205 Scopus citations