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Big Bangs Events - Eastern and London

The MRC MBU has participated in two Big Bang events this year.

The first was held on 28 June at Anglia Ruskin University, Chelmsford Campus. We took our "Find My Mutant Fly" game, along with movies and posters explaining the Unit's research. We also took some fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and used them to demonstrate how mutations in mitochondria might lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.

MRC MBU scientists involved in new discovery in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease

A new target to fight Motor Neurone Disease (MND) using gene therapy has been uncovered by neuroscientists at the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with scientists in Cambridge, UCL and Ohio.

Alex Whitworth, leader of the MRC MBU's Mitochondrial Neurodegeneration research group, co-directed this research, which opens up a new field for potential therapies for the most common genetic cause of MND.

The research was funded by the MND Association.

Open Day 2017

On Wednesday, 21 June 2017 the MRC MBU participated in the MRC's Festival of Medical Research and opened its doors to the public for its annual open day.

Our visitors were extremely interested to hear about the causes and effects of mitochondrial diseases, with explanations of the Unit's research towards the discovery and development of therapies.

Some of this research was shown in a practical demonstration, where fluorescent markings were used to observe the behaviour of fruit flies under a microscope.

MBU scientists secure funding for research on Pearson Syndrome

Michal Minczuk, leader of the MRC MBU’s Mitochondrial Genetics research group and his postdoctoral colleague, Payam Gammage, have been awarded $100,000 by The Champ Foundation to carry out research into Pearson Syndrome – a multi-system disease caused by a deletion in mitochondrial DNA.

The funding has been awarded for two years and the research proposal is one of two projects to be selected from a shortlist of five worldwide.

5th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture

On Thursday, 11 May 2017, Professor Rosario Rizzuto delivered the 5th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture, entitled, "The mitochondrial calcium uniporter: molecular identity and physiological role".

Professor Rizzuto is Chancellor (Magnificent Rector) of the University of Padua, Italy, where he is also Professor of General Pathology and Chairman of the Department of Biomedical Sciences.

Recent Primary School Visits

On 14 March 2017, members of the MRC MBU visited Queen Edith’s Primary School to communicate their science to children in years 3 and 4. The activities included practical “bench” sessions and the assembly of protein structures using Lego models.

On 23 March, members of the Unit visited Mayfield Primary School where similar sessions were held with children in the reception classes.

Mike Murphy talks to The Royal Society about the chemical biology of mitochondria

Mike Murphy, Group Leader/PI of the MRC MBU, organised a Royal Society scientific discussion meeting entitled 'Chemical biology approaches to assessing and modulating mitochondria', bringing together biologists, chemists and clinicians to discuss recent developments in the field.

Select talks were subsequently published in an issue of Interface Focus as a record of work to date and as a stimulus to future work. The Royal Society spoke to Mike about his work, the meeting and how the field could progress.

Medical Research Council Mitochondrial Biology Unit Transfers into the University of Cambridge

The Medical Research Council (MRC) and the University of Cambridge are delighted to announce that, today, the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MRC MBU) has transferred into the University and is now a University Unit department within the School of Clinical Medicine.

The MRC MBU has retained its current research facilities in the Wellcome Trust/MRC Building on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and its staff members are now employees of the University.

Opportunities Ahead: a careers fair for Cambridge

On Thursday, 23 February 2017, members of the MRC MBU participated in 'Opportunities Ahead' - a careers fair for Cambridge school students aged 14 and older.

Through the use of videos, computer games and sequencing puzzles, our young visitors were given explanations of mitochondrial disorders and how they cause mitochondrial diseases.

The event was organised by Form the Future.

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