Mitochondria contain the machinery of the electron transport chain, which are responsible for generating most of the energy for the cell. In addition to nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins, mitochondria contain a separate small, circular genome, densely packed with genes necessary to maintain mitochondrial function. The accumulation of mutations within mitochondrial DNA has been associated with aging and common diseases of the elderly, including neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. I am using Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to study the cellular factors that influence the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations.
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Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center | University of Washington
Institute for Systems Biology | Seattle Biomed