Laura Newman

Newman, Laura Elizabeth

Primary Appointment

Assistant Professor of Cell Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology


  • BS, Biotechnology, Indiana University
  • BS, Neuroscience, Indiana University
  • PhD, Biochemistry, Cell, and Developmental Biology, Emory University
  • Postdoc, Molecular and Cell Biology, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Contact Information


Research Disciplines

Cell and Developmental Biology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases/Biodefense, Metabolism

Research Interests

Mitochondrial regulation of innate immune and antiviral signaling

Research Description

Innate immunity provides the first line of defense against pathogens, which is critically important to limit their replication and spread. However, overactivation of innate immunity causes autoimmune diseases and may also underlie chronic diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. While mitochondria are famously known as “the powerhouse of the cell,” these essential organelles have also emerged as key regulators of innate immunity. In addition to serving as innate immune signaling platforms, mitochondria are uniquely positioned to regulate innate immunity because they originated from bacteria, and certain mitochondrial molecules (such as mitochondrial DNA) resemble bacterial molecules and activate innate immune pathways when released from mitochondria. Our research aims are to understand how mitochondria regulate innate immune signaling, how mitochondrial contents are released, and the role of mitochondrial regulation of innate immunity within the cellular warfare against pathogens. Our ultimate goal is mechanistic information leading to new treatments that will either enhance or limit innate immunity in order to treat diseases such as viral infection, autoimmunity, and chronic diseases.

Selected Publications