Our cells contain genetic information in two separate compartments - the nucleus and the mitochondria. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a small circular double-stranded DNA molecule that contains information that is essential for efficient energy production. Problems with mitochondrial DNA can therefore lead to a cellular energy defect and mitochondrial disease.
My group works on various aspects of mitochondrial DNA stability, and on how problems with mitochondrial DNA are signalled to the rest of the cell. A thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms that mediate these signals relates to various hereditary mitochondrial diseases, but also to neurodegenerative disease and various types of cancers.