A fund to develop tomorrow's mitochondrial research scientists

Will you invest in the future of mito research?

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The Jonathan Fradkin Emerging Scientists Fund will develop the independent research of highly qualified individuals still early in their careers. By supporting this fund, you will not only cultivate the most promising science, but you will also foster the rising research stars of the future.

Research into mito is still relatively new which makes it difficult for specialised research to attract funding from mainstream funding bodies. It therefore doesn’t have the allure of more well-funded disease research for early career researchers. We aim to support these emerging scientists to build their experience while making important discoveries. This initial investment in their work will develop the mitochondrial disease research sector and foster discoveries that will attract other funding.

Recipients of these funds will dedicate their work to understanding, diagnosing, and finding effective treatments and cures for mito. These investments have the potential to be the catalyst for profound future research outcomes. As an investor in this fund, you will learn about the important investigations being undertaken as well as the researchers’ personal stories and visions for the future of mito.

The inspiration behind the Jonathan Fradkin Emerging Scientists Fund

Jonathan Fradkin

The Fund has been created in loving memory of Jonny Fradkin. Jonny was afflicted by a type of mitochondrial disease (mito) called MELAS. He fought this disease every day of his life and still managed to be an inspiration and source of strength to his family, including brothers Matthew, Daniel, his mother Janine and father Don.

Drawing on Jonny’s inspiration his family has created a fund in his memory that will support Australia’s brightest young scientists to kickstart their career in mitochondrial medicine.

“In August 2021, our family lost our eldest son and brother Jonathan to the scourge of mitochondrial disease. Jonny fought for his first breath and was still fighting when he took his last breath. I became a man the first time I held his hand and it was our privilege to share his life's journey. Since 2010 we have been involved with the Mito Foundation and Jonny’s passing has only strengthened our resolve to fund research in his honour to enable others with mito to live fuller lives with their loved ones. I welcome all philanthropists to join in on this effort”

Don Coulthard

Get to know the faces behind the microscopes

This fund allows bright young stars to realise their visions for the future of mitochondrial disease research. Get to know what drives these dedicated stars who we will one day thank for discovering a cure.


“With improved diagnosis and understanding of the onset of mito, I hope that people impacted by
mito in the future will have access to far earlier diagnosis and improved treatments for a better
quality of life."


“I see advancement in mito research leading to the first personalised medicines,
marking a significant step in the drive to develop a cure for mito.”


"The mitochondrial genome is an important contributor to health and disease, but there aren’t many tools available to help scientists analyse it. I’m aiming to change this!"


Our target is to reach $150,000 in this fund by 30 June 2024 to fund as many eligible emerging scientist applications as possible.

Before a grant is awarded it is subject to rigorous scrutiny from Mito Foundation’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Panel and only the most promising research will be funded. Exactly how the funds will be allocated will depend on the number and strength of applications in each area.

The more philanthropic support, the more we can commit to those making tomorrow’s discoveries.

Recognition of Support

  • Supporters of the fund will be featured on the Mito Foundation website, annual review and digital community updates at their discretion.
  • Supporters will receive ‘first look’ updates on the progress of grants underway and any new grants we have committed to.
  • Opportunities to visit the labs in which the researchers work will be offered to supporters of the fund throughout the year