Romain Cartoni, PhD

Dr. Cartoni's scientific career has focused on mitochondrial adaptations to neuronal stress. He obtained a PhD in Biology from the University of Geneva (Switzerland). After a transitional post-doc at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Dr. Cartoni was offered a research fellow position at the F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center in Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School to work in the laboratory of Dr. Zhigang He, who spearhead the field of axonal regeneration. In close collaboration with his department neighbor Dr. Thomas L. Schwarz, Dr. Cartoni discovered that a mitochondrial protein called Armcx1 was sufficient to mobilize mitochondria and promote axonal regeneration and survival of retinal ganglion cells after optic nerve injury. This study provided strong evidence for the role of mitochondria during neuronal repair and opened new horizons for mitochondrial medicine. In January 2018, Dr. Cartoni was jointly recruited by the Pharmacology and Cancer Biology department and the Ophthalmology department to open his research laboratory at Duke University. The research conducted in Dr. Cartoni's laboratory focuses on finding mechanisms and regulators that promote neuronal survival and axonal regeneration by modulating local mitochondrial function. The laboratory's main interests are the blinding diseases affecting the retinal ganglion cells.