Identifying therapies that reduce transmission of mitochondrial heteroplasmy from mother to child.
Professor Rebecca Robker
Improving children’s mental health and the impact of developmental disorders.
The University of Adelaide
One Australian baby is born every week with a severely disabling form of mitochondrial disease or ‘mito’, and most die before age five. Mitochondria (the ‘powerplants’ in cells) are entirely inherited from mothers: mitochondria in the egg are replicated during development to populate all fetal tissues. A woman’s eggs commonly contain a mixture of mitochondria (called heteroplasmy) but there is no understanding of how they segregate into different fetal tissues and under what circumstances disease results. This project will conduct preclinical testing of selected pharmaceuticals for their ability to reduce heteroplasmy transmission in order to identify preventative mito therapies.