Dr Matthew McKenzie and Prof Justin St John
Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Mitochondrial complex interactions and their importance in mitochondrial disease pathogenesis
For her project, Abena will be examining the interactions between fatty acid oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation enzymes, the two processes by which mitochondria break down fats and sugars to produce energy. Mutations in genes involved in either of these pathways can cause mitochondrial disease and Abena will be looking to determine why this is. She will also be using stem cell technology to create new brain and heart ‘disease in a dish’ models of Mito, allowing her to directly examine how mitochondrial function is affected in these cell types. Abena hopes that this project will guide the development of new combination therapies for mito that will address defects in fatty acid oxidation and oxidative phosphorylation simultaneously.