Aleksandra Filipovska, Judith Ermer, Sue Powell, Stefan Siira, Stefan Davies, Anne-Marie Shearwood, Tara Richman, Kara Perks
Professor Aleksandra Filipovska has won a prestigious international award; the Merck Millipore Research Medal, awarded by the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB).
Professor Filipovska is the head of the Mitochondrial Medicine and Biology laboratory at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
The official award will be made in Canberra later this year where Professor Filipovska will present the Merck Millipore Research Medal Lecture.
In other exciting news for the laboratory, Professor Filipovska and her team have recently had a paper published in leading cell biology journal, Cell Reports.
The paper, entitled Mapping of Mitcochondrial RNA-Protein, Interactions by Digital RNase Footprinting describes how RNAs, which are the blueprints of genetic information, interact with proteins in the cell.
The team uses next-generation technologies to speed up the process as they work to understand more about these interactions.
“We’ve developed a method to study interactions in the cell in a high-throughput manner,” Professor Filipovska explained. “So this means you’re not just looking at one RNA and one protein but you can look at all the interactions that are occurring in a cell or in a tissue.”
Professor Filipovska said that while her team was developing methodologies in the laboratory for use in the clinic with mitochondrial patients, the methods could be used in other medical research.
Patients with mitochondrial diseases have progressive and debilitating symptoms for which there are no cures at present.
Professor Filipovska said that in another precedent for her laboratory, an international mitochondria conference would be held at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research later this year.
“The AussieMit2014 conference will attract leading international speakers in mitochondrial disease and dysfunction and we look forward to hosting it for the first time in Perth at the beginning of December,” she said.