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Permeability transition in mitochondria

Mitochondria generate the cellular fuel, adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, to sustain complex life. Production of ATP depends on the oxidation of energy rich compounds to produce a chemical potential difference for hydrogen ions (or proton motive force, pmf), across the inner mitochondrial membrane (IMM).

Disruption of the IMM, dissipation of the pmf and cell death occur if the total concentration of calcium inside mitochondria is elevated sufficiently to open a pore in the IMM. It has been proposed that the pore is in the membrane sector of the ATP synthase.

Tenured Professorship for Edmund Kunji

The General Board of the Faculties of the University of Cambridge has recommended that, with effect from 1 October 2019, a Professorship be established for Dr Edmund Kunji (assigned to the Department of Clinical Neurosciences).


David Sabatini MD PhD delivers the 7th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture

The 7th Annual Sir John Walker Lecture, ‘Regulation of Growth and Metabolism’, was delivered on Thursday, 30 May 2019, by David Sabatini, MD, PhD.

Professor Sabatini is a member of the Whitehead Institute and Professor of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He studies the pathways that regulate growth and metabolism and how they are deregulated in diseases like cancer and diabetes.

University of Helsinki - Silver Medal for John Walker

On 7 May 2019, Nobel Laureate Professor Sir John Walker FRS, FMedSci was presented with the University of Helsinki Silver Medal, the University's highest award, in recognition of his contributions to bioenergetics and structural biology and for advising the University's Institute of Biotechnology, as a member of its Advisory Board for nearly twenty years from 1999 to 2018.

The Keith Peters Building

On Thursday, 4 April, Professor Sir Keith Peters unveiled a plaque in reception to mark the formal re-naming of the Wellcome Trust/MRC Building as The Keith Peters Building. We share this building with the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research (CIMR). Further information about the renaming event is available via CIMR's website.

Celebrating 10 years of the MRC MBU

Today, 1 April 2019, marks the tenth anniversary of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit and the appointment of Professor Judy Hirst, FRS, as Interim Director.

Following a Strategic Review in 2008, the MBU was launched in 2009 by Professor Leszek Borysiewicz, who was then the Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and later the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.


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