skip to content

MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


Wing Hei Au











Dr Wing Hei Au studied Biomedical Sciences at King’s College London (KCL) where she completed her BSc and was subsequently awarded a scholarship to study Neuroscience MSc at KCL. Afterwards, she gained experience as a Research Assistant with both Dr Frank Hirth (KCL) and Dr Alexander Whitworth (MRC MBU, University of Cambridge). Affirming her interests in the field of neurodegeneration, she pursued a PhD with Dr Alexander Whitworth which focussed on investigating mitochondrial dysfunction in an in vivo Drosophila model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Frontotemporal Dementia (ALS/FTD). After completing her PhD, she is now continuing her research work in Dr Alexander Whitworth’s lab as a Research Associate.

Research Interests

Dr Wing Hei Au is interested in elucidating the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration, specifically in the most common genetic mutation in ALS/FTD, C9orf72. Wing Hei has investigated the link between the production of C9orf72 toxic dipeptide proteins, TDP-43 pathology and nucleocytoplasmic transport mediating C9orf72-related neurodegeneration. She has developed a strong interest in mitochondrial biology, and is currently exploring the consequences of redox imbalance and the involvement of cellular antioxidant defence mechanisms, with specific focus on the NRF2/Keap1 signalling pathway in C9orf72 ALS/FTD pathogenesis.

Selected Publications

Solomon DA*, Stepto A*, Au WH*, Adachi Y, Diaper DC, Hall R, Rekhi A, Boudi A, Tziortzouda P, Lee YB, Smith B, Bridi JC, Spinelli G, Dearlove J, Humphrey DM, Gallo JM, Troakes C, Fanto M, Soller M, Rogelj B, Parsons RB, Shaw CE, Hortobágyi T, Hirth F. (2018)
* authors contributed equally to this work
A feedback loop between dipeptide-repeat protein, TDP-43 and karyopherin-α mediates C9orf72-related neurodegeneration
Brain 141(10):2908-2924