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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


Anja Veronika Gruszczyk

Preferred first name: Anja






Dr Anja V Gruszczyk is a biomedical research associate who specialised in mitochondrial biology early in her career during her master’s degree at the University of Cologne, Germany, focussed on mitochondrial genetics and neurodegeneration. After a short period as research assistant in the lab of Prof Elena Rugarli at the University of Cologne, she then decided to include her knowledge into more translational and clinical research during a PhD at the University of Cambridge. She was jointly supervised by Prof Mike Murphy at the Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU) and Prof Kourosh Saeb-Parsy at the Department of Surgery, focussing on the role of mitochondria in ischaemia-reperfusion injury during organ transplantation. After being awarded her PhD, she then moved to the research group of Dr Michal Minczuk at the MBU to investigate molecular tools to shift heteroplasmy of mtDNA under a Sponsored Research Agreement between the MBU and Pretzel Therapeutics.

Research Interests

Dr Anja V Gruszczyk has been interested in mitochondrial research since her undergraduate degree and has since contributed to the elucidation of various aspects of mitochondrial biology. During her time at the MBU, she investigated the role of mitochondrial dysfunction and changes in mitochondrial metabolism during ischaemia and subsequent reperfusion injury. Some of her publications include insights into the accumulation and release of succinate during transplantation (, and development of new in-vitro models for ischaemia-reperfusion injury (

One of her main interests has been to understand the damage and release of mtDNA after mitochondrial dysfunction during organ transplantation in-vivo (, She now moved on to investigate mtDNA further, focussing on shifting heteroplasmy by depleting mutated mtDNA to prevent mitochondrial disorders in-vitro and in-vivo.

Selected Publications

Anja V. Gruszczyk, Alva M. Casey, Andrew M. James, Hiran A. Prag, Nils Burger a, Georgina R. Bates, Andrew R. Hall, Fay M. Allen, Thomas Krieg, Kourosh Saeb-Parsy, Michael P. Murphy (2022)
Mitochondrial metabolism and bioenergetic function in an anoxic isolated adult mouse cardiomyocyte model of in vivo cardiac ischemia-reperfusion injury
Redox Biology 54, August 2022, 102368

Hiran A Prag*, Anja V Gruszczyk*,  Margaret M Huang,  Timothy E Beach,  Timothy Young, Laura Tronci,  Efterpi Nikitopoulou,  John F Mulvey,  Raimondo Ascione,  Anna Hadjihambi, Michael J Shattock, Luc Pellerin,  Kourosh Saeb-Parsy,  Christian Frezza,  Andrew M James, Thomas Krieg,  Michael P Murphy,  Dunja Aksentijević (2021)
*These authors contributed equally
Mechanism of succinate efflux upon reperfusion of the ischaemic heart
Cardiovascular Research 117, Issue 4, 1 April 2021, 1188–1201

Jack L. Martin, Ana S. H. Costa, Anja V. Gruszczyk, Timothy E. Beach, Fay M. Allen, Hiran A. Prag, Elizabeth C. Hinchy, Krishnaa Mahbubani, Mazin Hamed, Laura Tronci, Efterpi Nikitopoulou, Andrew M. James, Thomas Krieg, Alan J. Robinson, Margaret M. Huang, Stuart T. Caldwell, Angela Logan, Laura Pala, Richard C. Hartley, Christian Frezza, Kourosh Saeb-Parsy & Michael P. Murphy (2019)
Succinate accumulation drives ischaemia-reperfusion injury during organ transplantation
Nature Metabolism 1, 966–974