The United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) awarded Brett A. Kaufman, PhD, assistant professor department of animal biology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, a $120,000 grant to study the role mtDNA copy number control plays in the development of disease.
Dr. Kaufman’s grant was also selected for the UMDF Chairman’s Award for the top grant this year.
“Our aim is to make a rapid and fundamental impact on our understanding of mtDNA regulation in disease,” Kaufman said. “This work will increase our knowledge of molecular mechanisms regulating mtDNA copy number, and potentially, mitochondrial gene expression. With the technical support of collaborators and our departmental expertise, our lab is uniquely situated to conduct the experiments that will answer important questions about mtDNA content control.”
Kaufman said this work will allow researchers to better understand the mtDNA depletion syndromes and other complex diseases whose pathogenesis involves mtDNA deletion or depletion, such as neurodegenerative diseases.
“We are happy that Dr. Kaufman’s project was selected for UMDF Research Grant funding in 2011,” said Charles A. Mohan, Jr., CEO, executive director of UMDF. “We are excited about the project and we look forward to receiving updates and progress reports as the research moves forward.”