Robert Naviaux Laboratory at UC San Diego

Research in my laboratory is divided in two groups: 1) Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Disease and Development, and 2) Evolutionary Systems Biology and Marine Metagenomics. Areas of active research in our mitochondrial group include the development of mouse models of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) depletion and segmental amplification-overfunction disorders. Additional studies include the mitochondrial systems biology of diabetes, autism, the anti-viral response, innate immunity, autoimmunity, aging, stem cell biology, and regeneration. We are interested in the detailed mechanisms of tissue-specific mtDNA replication, DNA damage and repair, mitotic recombination, and copy number control. This group has also developed novel methods for the study of animal cell quorum sensing through the agency of secreted cellular exosomes. We study exosomal genomics, proteomics, lipidomics, and metabolomics as non-invasive biomarkers of health and disease. Our Marine Metagenomics group is developing new methods of environmental DNA isolation and next-generation sequencing to create molecular census tables and trophic architectural maps of contemporary and ancient ecosystems.

Selected Publications

  1. Naviaux RK. Mitochondrial control of epigenetics. Cancer Biology and Therapy 7:1191-1193 (2008)
  2. Naviaux RK, Le TP, Bedelbaeva K, Leferovich J, Gourevitch D, Sachadyn P, Zhang X-M, Clark L, Heber-Katz E. Retained features of embryonic metabolism in the adult MRL Mouse. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 96:133-144 (2009)
  3. Gourley PL, Hendricks JK, McDonald AE, Copeland RG, Yaffe MP, Naviaux RK. Reactive biomolecular divergence in genetically altered yeast cells and isolated mitochondria as measured by biocavity laser spectroscopy: A rapid diagnostic method for studying cellular responses to stress and disease. J Biomed Optics 12:1-14 (2007)
  4. Jiang Y, Hall TA, Hofstadler SA, Naviaux RK. Mitochondrial DNA mutation detection by electrospray mass spectrometry. Clin Chem. 53:195-203 (2007)
  5. Naviaux RK, Good B, McPherson JD et al. Sand DNA - a genetic library of life at the water's edge. Marine Ecology-Progress Series. 301:9-22 (2005)
  6. Naviaux RK, Nguyen KV. POLG Mutations Associated with Alpers' Syndrome and Mitochondrial DNA Depletion. Ann Neurol. 55:706-712 (2004)
List of Publications from PubMed


Robert K. Naviaux, MD, PhD
University of California, San Diego
214 Dickinson St, CTF, C102
San Diego, CA 92103-8467
Tel: 619-543-2904


UCSD Medical Center, CTF-C Building
214 Dickenson Street, Room C-102