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Pathogenesis of mitochondrial disorders - Focus on mitochondrial RNA

Final Activity Report Summary - MITRNA (Pathogenesis of mitochondrial disorders - Focus on mitochondrial RNA)

This programme was designed to train three early stage researchers in a range of molecular biology, protein chemistry and biochemical techniques with which they were unfamiliar. It also aimed to allow the visiting Fellows to enrich the Host environment both culturally and scientifically by bringing in individuals with different backgrounds. Each of these aims has been achieved. Socially and culturally each of the appointed Fellows has had different backgrounds and experiences and has integrated into the events and contributed to the atmosphere in the laboratory and Graduate School environment.

The scientific training and exchange of skills was to be achieved whilst carrying out research on their own project area within the scope of basic mitochondrial biology. The project areas covered the regulation of gene expression in mitochodria. One Fellow looked at what release factors are involved in the termination process of protein synthesis and how the mitoribosomes are recycled by the ribosome recycling factor after translation termination. The other two Fellows also researched into post-transcriptional regulation in mitochondria but more particularly at the mitochondrial RNA homeostasis and at the cis- and trans- acting factors that are responsible for mRNA transcript stability.

The Fellows would be trained in 'professional skills' and 'ethics, biological, chemical and radiochemical safety' modules provided by Newcastle University Medical Faculty Graduate School. The research projects were carried out in the laboratories of the Mitochondrial Research Group, which is an internationally recognised for its clinical and basic scientific research on mitochondrial biology.

Each of the Fellows has registered for a higher degree and all are the final stages of completion and have passed all the assessments to date. All the Fellows have attended and contributed to local Research Group meetings and seminar series but more importantly as they developed as scientists they have made contributions at national and international meetings. All three of them have given poster and oral presentations by invitation and indeed have been awarded prizes as a consequence. Further recognition of their development as career scientists is in their authorship or co-authorship of peer reviewed publications. Each of the Fellows also has manuscripts submitted and / or in preparation.