Seungtae Lee

DC07: The impact of nutrient metabolism on mitochondrial DNA maintenance and expression in health and disease
About me

My academic journey started with a budding interest in neuroscience during high school. Following my curiosity, I decided to pursue this interest by completing my Bachelor’s degree at Korea University and the University of Zurich from 2016 to 2020.

As my passion for neuroscience only continued to grow, I went on to obtain my Master’s degree in Clinical Neuroscience (2022) from University College London, UK. Prompted by my interest in multisystem diseases, I chose to investigate the biogenesis of mitochondria, the mechanism of how antibiotics are used in mitochondrial diseases, and how this might result in clinical benefit. I conducted my Master’s research under the supervision of Dr. Jan-Willem Taanman.

After being selected as a DC in the exciting MITGEST Doctoral Network, I have been studying how metabolic changes affect mitochondrial DNA maintenance. I am very eager to develop into a highly competent researcher in the pathogenesis of mitochondria and its novel therapeutics over the next few years. Join me as I embark on this fascinating scientific journey!

About my project

In this project, we will investigate the effect of nutrients on replication, transcription and translation in the mitochondria of human fibroblasts under different conditions. To determine how nutrient availability affects the course of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) disease, we will test several diets and assess their effect on disease progression at the macro and molecular level, the latter including analysis of mtDNA replication and expression via DNA, RNA and protein labelling. The new findings will be used to develop and refine methods to manipulate energy metabolism to alleviate mitochondrial diseases in cell and animal models in advance of experimental medicine studies.