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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


We are really excited to announce that four of our research group leaders – Drs Michal Minczuk, Jelle van den Ameele, Alex Whitworth and Professor Patrick Chinnery - are participating in the MRC National Mouse Genetics Network (NMGN) and a part of a cluster focussing on mitochondrial medicine - MitoCluster

MitoCluster, led by Dr Robert Pitceathly at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, will undertake research to model mitochondrial dysfunction in mice to better understand how and why faulty mitochondria cause human diseases, while finding new ways to measure these disorders over time, and developing new treatments that will progress to human trials in future. The MBU will provide cutting-age expertise in mitochondrial genome modification and genomics, while recent advances by the Mary Lyon Centre in techniques to monitor remotely any subtle changes in mouse development, movement, and behaviour in their “home cage” environment will allow the team to study key aspects of these conditions in mice more accurately and humanely.

The MRC National Mouse Genetics Network is a major new £22 million investment in mouse genetics for disease modelling that will capitalise on the UK’s international excellence in the biomedical sciences. MitoCluster will receive funding of approximately £2.9 million.

The Network is comprised of 7 challenge-led research clusters, with members distributed across the UK:

  • Cancer
  • Congenital Anomalies
  • Degron Tagging
  • Haem
  • Microbiome
  • MURIDAE (Modalities for Understanding, Recording and Integrating Data Across Early life)
  • Mitochondria

The Mary Lyon Centre at MRC Harwell will act as the central hub of the Network, sharing access to specialist facilities, resources, data, and training with all other Network members, and is receiving £5.5 million to support this role. The partnerships established by the Network will enable integration of basic science research with clinical findings in order to accelerate our understanding of human disease and translation to patient benefit.

For full details and information about the clusters and their leading scientists, please see the press release from the Mary Lyon Centre at Harwell.