RSC School Seminar - Prof. Aleksandra Filipovska (UWA)

Title: Hierarchical regulation of mitochondrial gene expression in health and metabolic diseases

Speaker: Prof. Aleksandra Filipovska

Abstract:

Mitochondria produce the majority of energy required by cells and consequently mitochondrial dysfunction can cause or contribute significantly to the onset and progression of metabolic diseases. However, little is known about the contribution of dysregulated mitochondrial gene expression and consequent imbalance in biogenesis and energy metabolism in metabolic diseases. We have developed new models where mutations in mitochondrial proteins lead to impaired metabolic function. To understand how changes in mitochondrial biogenesis can lead to metabolic syndrome we investigate the molecular and pathological mechanisms in our models under different conditions. We have used biochemical, protein mass spectrometry and transcriptomic analyses to identify tissue-specific signalling pathways and changes in energy metabolism caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. I will discuss the mechanistic link between impaired gene expression and energy metabolism, and their contribution to the predisposition and development of disease.

Biography:

Aleksandra Filipovska is the Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor at the University of Western Australia. She received her PhD in 2002 from the University of Otago, New Zealand. From 2003-2005 she was a NZ Foundation for Research, Science and Technology Fellow at the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit in Cambridge, the United Kingdom. In 2006 she relocated to Australia as a NHMRC Howard Florey Fellow and established her research group at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research at the University of Western Australia.

She was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow until 2014 and since 2014 she has been a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and Professor at UWA and the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. She established a second laboratory, the Mitochondrial Disease Therapy group at Telethon Kids Institute in 2019. Her research interests are in the regulation of gene expression by RNA-binding proteins and the use of multi-omic technologies to elucidate their molecular functions in health and disease. Her research group uses genomic technologies and synthetic biology to design new models of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and to develop treatments for these disorders.