top of page


Professor Mary-Ellen Harper, PhD

University Research Chair, Mitochondrial Bioenergetics

Director, Metabolomics Advanced Training and International Exchange (MATRIX), an


Director, Ottawa Institute of Systems Biology (


Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology

Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

The Harper laboratory investigates the importance of mitochondria in health and disease.

Mitochondria are remarkable organelles within eukaryotic cells, and are referred to as the cellular powerhouses due to their important role in typically providing ~90% of a cell’s ATP. The Harper laboratory’s research focuses on the mechanisms through which mitochondria transduce the energy substrates, like glucose and fatty acids, into ATP, and this field of research is referred to as ‘bioenergetics’.  Cellular energy metabolism becomes disordered in many disease states, and disordered energy metabolism can cause many types of disease.  Our research has implications for a better understanding of, and possible novel treatment strategies for diseases including diabetes, obesity, cardiomyopathies, neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. 

Mitochondrial bioenergetics is a hub for many physiological and pathological mechanisms, and our research team welcomes trainees at all levels.



Our laboratory is located in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa (see map).  Get in touch with any questions or comments regarding our work and publications. We’d love to hear from you.

451 Smyth Rd, Ottawa, ON K1H 8M5, Canada

bottom of page