Robert Naviaux, MD, PhD

Dr. Naviaux is Professor of Genetics in the departments of Medicine, Pediatrics and Pathology at UCSD where he directs a core laboratory for metabolomics and exposomics.  He is the founder and co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (MMDC) at UCSD, the co-founder and a former President of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS), and a founding associate editor of the journal Mitochondrion.  Dr. Naviaux is the discoverer of POLG1 mutations as the cause of Alpers syndrome—the oldest Mendelian form of mitochondrial disease. His research has uncovered abnormalities in purinergic signaling, and defects in the molecular steps of the healing cycle that are shared by dozens of complex chronic disorders.  These results have led to new approaches to treatment that are being tested in randomized clinical trials. Dr. Naviaux directed the first FDA-approved clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of the antipurinergic drug suramin to treat the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Information about Naviaux Lab research can be found on the web at: