- The central role of the mitochondrion for cellular and organismal metabolism is well known, yet its functional role in evolution has rarely been featured in leading international conferences. Moreover, the contribution of mitochondrial genetics to complex disease phenotypes is particularly important, and although major advances have been made in the field of genomics, mitochondrial genomic data has in many cases been overlooked. Accumulating data and new knowledge support a major contribution of this maternally inherited genome, and its interactions with the nucleus, to both major evolutionary processes and diverse disease phenotypes. These advances encouraged us to assemble the 1st Mitochondrial Genomics and Evolution (MGE) meeting - an SMBE satellite and Israeli Science foundation international conference (Israel, September 2017). Here, we report the content and outcome of the MGE meeting (www.mge2017.com).