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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


Leonor Miller-Fleming













Dr Leonor Miller-Fleming studied Biology at the University of Porto in Portugal. For her final year project, she developed a new diagnostic technique to screen for Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia mutations, at IBMC (Porto). Leonor then moved to the UK, to join Prof. Flaviano Giorgini’s lab, at the University of Leicester, to work on different molecular pathways underlying Huntington’s disease (supported by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian). After this, she embarked on a PhD (FCT fellowship) to study the function of DJ-1, a protein associated with Parkinson’s disease. She worked between Dr Giorgini’s lab and Prof. Tiago Outeiro’s lab at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular, Lisbon, Portugal. After completing the PhD, Leonor joined the lab of Dr Markus Ralser at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge (UK) to work as a research associate. Here, she studied the role of polyamines in ageing. Now, Leonor is working at the MBU, where she was awarded an MRC grant to work as Co-investigator, with Dr Alex Whitworth. 

Research Interests

Dr Leonor Miller-Fleming is broadly interested in understanding the puzzling molecular pathways that contribute to neurodegenerative diseases and ageing. She is currently focussed on studying RNA biology in axons, which is poorly studied. Leonor is interested in finding which mRNAs are translated in axons of motor neurons and how the dysregulation of this process contributes to Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. She is using the fruit fly as a model.

Selected Publications

Hewitt VL, Miller-Fleming L, Twyning MJ, Andreazza S, Mattedi F, Prudent J, Polleux F, Vagnoni A, Whitworth AJ (2022)
Decreasing pdzd8-mediated mito-ER contacts improves organismal fitness and mitigates Aβ42 toxicity.
Life Sci Alliance 5(11):e202201531

Olin-Sandoval V, Yu JSL, Miller-Fleming L, Alam MT, Kamrad S, Correia-Melo C, Haas R, Segal J, Peña Navarro DA, Herrera-Dominguez L, Méndez-Lucio O, Vowinckel J, Mülleder M, Ralser M (2019)
Lysine harvesting is an antioxidant strategy and triggers underground polyamine metabolism.
Nature 572(7768):249-253

Miller-Fleming L, Antas P, Pais TF, Smalley JL, Giorgini F, Outeiro TF (2014)
Yeast DJ-1 superfamily members are required for diauxic-shift reprogramming and cell survival in stationary phase.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111(19):7012-7