On Wednesday 30 March 2022, the mito community was given renewed hope when the Australian Senate passed the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021. This historic moment will allow eligible Australian families to access mitochondrial donation and break the cycle of mito passing from one generation to the next.
To help demystify what comes next, please join our dedicated mitochondrial donation webinar and have your questions answered by our panel of experts.
Panel of Experts
Professor David Thorburn
Professor David Thorburn is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), located in the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. He holds honorary appointments in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne and with Victorian Clinical Genetics Services. David is a former President of the Human Genetics Society of Australasia and a former member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (USA).
David and John Christodoulou co-lead the MCRI Brain and Mitochondrial Research Group, which is primarily involved in research but also acts as the Australasian referral centre for diagnosis of mitochondrial disease in children. David’s research focuses on the genetic basis of mitochondrial energy generation diseases. He has had a particular interest in understanding how mitochondrial DNA mutations are passed on from mothers to their children, and translating this knowledge into approaches for genetic counselling, prenatal diagnosis and prevention. David was a member of the NHMRC Mitochondrial Donation Expert Working Committee and has been instrumental in advocating for the introduction of mitochondrial donation on behalf of the Australian medical and scientific community.
Professor Carolyn Sue AM
Professor Carolyn Sue runs Australia’s largest specialised clinic dedicated to the diagnosis, assessment and treatment of adult patients with mitochondrial disease. In 2003, she set up Australia’s first exercise laboratory dedicated to the treatment of mitochondrial muscle disease and showed that aerobic exercise training improved muscle performance in Australian patients with mitochondrial disease. It was her vision, combined with the actions of Dr Doug Lingard, which led to the establishment of the Mito Foundation in 2009.
Professor Sue is currently appointed as Professor at the University of Sydney, the Director of the Department of Neurogenetics at Royal North Shore Hospital and the Director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research (Sydney Node). In 2000 she established her own research team, currently located at the Kolling Institute of Medical Research, at Royal North Shore Hospital. She has a major interest in understanding the disease processes involved in mitochondrial disorders, with an emphasis on developing new treatment options for affected patients. She is also using stem cells as a cellular model to investigate mitochondrial disease.
Professor Megan Munsie
Professor Munsie is an internationally recognised leader in the stem cell research community. She is currently the convenor of Stem Cells Australia and holds a joint appointment across the University of Melbourne’s School of Biomedical Sciences and the Melbourne Medical School. She heads a highly regarded interdisciplinary research program examining the ethical, legal and social implications of stem cell research.
Professor Munsie’s unique approach to facilitating innovative and impactful community consultation and information exchange was recently recognised by the International Society for Stem Cell Research. She has extensive experience in biotechnology and has also worked for over ten years as a clinical embryologist in Australian IVF clinics.