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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit

The MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (formerly the MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit) is a department of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge, funded through a strategic partnership between the Medical Research Council and the University. It is located at the Addenbrooke’s Hospital / Cambridge Biomedical Campus site in Cambridge, England. The unit is concerned with the study of the mitochondrion, as this organelle has a varied and critical role in many aspects of eukaryotic metabolism and is implicated in a large number of metabolic, degenerative, and age-related human diseases.


The Unit was founded in 1927 using a donation from Sir William Dunn, who left £1 million to charity on his death in 1912. Part of this money was used to fund what was then called the Dunn Nutritional Laboratory, with its research supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The Unit was renamed in 2009 to the Mitochondrial Biology Unit under the directorship of Professor Sir John Walker to reflect its expertise in mitochondrial research. In March 2017 the Unit was transferred from the MRC to the University of Cambridge. The current director of the Unit is Professor Massimo Zeviani. Directorship of the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit The Unit has three major scientific aims: Introduction
  1. To understand the fundamental processes taking place in mitochondria
  2. To understand the involvement of these processes in human diseases
  3. To exploit knowledge of these fundamental processes for the development of new therapies to treat human diseases

Research Groups

The MBU is organised into eleven independent research groups Research Groups Page and includes 30-40 graduate students who are members of the University of Cambridge:
  • Professor Massimo Zeviani - Molecular basis for inherited mitochondrial disease
  • Dr Judy Hirst - Understanding the molecular mechanism of complex I and its roles in human disease
  • Professor Patrick Chinnery - Mitochondrial genomics and human diseases
  • Dr Ian Fearnley - Mitochondrial proteomics
  • Dr Edmund Kunji - Understanding transport processes in mitochondria
  • Dr Michal Minczuk - Discovering the genetic links between mitochondrial dysfunction and human disease
  • Dr Mike Murphy - Targeting therapeutic and probe molecules to mitochondria, mitochondrial radical production and redox signalling
  • Dr Julien Prudent - Interactions between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum in cell physiology and disease
  • Dr Alan Robinson - Understanding mitochondria using computer modelling
  • Dr Alex Whitworth - Genetic models of neurodegenerative disease
  • Professor Sir John Walker - Understanding the molecular mechanism of how ATP is made


The MBU is the home of several freely-accessible scientific web-resources: MitoMiner - a mitochondrial proteomics database that provides information on cellular localisation, function and species & tissue specific expression The Integrated Mitochondrial Protein Index (IMPI) - a list of all the genes and proteins that make up the mammalian mitochondrion


Professor Massimo Zeviani (2013 - ) Professor Sir John Walker (1998 - 2013) Curriculum-Vitae

See also


External links

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This article based upon the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MRC_Mitochondrial_Biology_Unit, the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Further informations available on the list of authors and history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=MRC_Mitochondrial_Biology_Unit&action=history
presented by: Ingo Malchow, Mirower Bogen 22, 17235 Neustrelitz, Germany