Robert Naviaux, MD, PhD

ISEAI Honorary Member

Robert Naviaux, MD, PhD, is the founder and co-director of the Mitochondrial and Metabolic Disease Center (MMDC), and Professor of Medicine, Pediatrics, Pathology, and Genetics at UCSD, where he directs a core laboratory for metabolomics.  He is the co-founder and a former president of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society (MMS), and a founding associate editor of the journal Mitochondrion.   He is an internationally known expert in human genetics, inborn errors of metabolism, metabolomics, and mitochondrial medicine.  Dr. Naviaux is the discoverer of the cause of Alpers syndrome—the oldest Mendelian form of mitochondrial disease—and the developer of the first DNA test to diagnose it. His lab also discovered the first mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations that cause genetic forms of autism and the metabolic features of the cell danger response (CDR). He directed the first FDA-approved clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of the antipurinergic drug suramin as a new treatment for autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  His lab has developed new methods in metabolomics and environmental toxicology that have shown that many complex chronic disorders like ASD and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) have a metabolic signature that can be used in diagnosis and lead to fresh insights to treatment. Dr. Naviaux’s publications have been cited over 6,000 times. Information about Naviaux Lab research can be found on the web at

Learn more:,

ISEAI 2019 Conference Lecture

Friday, May 3 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Is It Safe to Heal? The Metabolic Features of the Healing Cycle and Recovery from Chronic Illness

Lecture Highlights:

  • The treatment of acute and chronic illnesses require different approaches
  • The triggers that cause chronic illness are often remote. Chronic diseases commonly persist despite the removal of triggers.
  • The mitochondrial and metabolic features of the healing cycle are described
  • Repeated activation of the cell danger response (CDR) can lead to delays in healing, but new strategies to unblock healing and restore health are now being tested in clinical trials
Robert Naviaux, MD