[formerly] Molecular Biology and Genetics, College of Sciences

ERC Starting Grant 2014

RevMito : Deciphering and reversing the consequences of mitochondrial DNA damage

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Dr. Dunn received his ERC grant at Koç University and carried out some of the work at the university before transferring the project to his current host institution in Finland, University of Helsinki.

RevMito focuses on mitochondrial DNA and accumulated damage on this DNA, in order to introduce a new understanding of the the cellular consequences of mtDNA damage. Toward this goal, Dr. Dunn uses the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a cellular model of mitochondrial dysfunction.

The ERC action investigated the repercussions of mtDNA damage by three different strategies:

  • The link between a conserved, nutrient-sensitive signalling pathway and the outcome of mtDNA loss was explored.
  • Second, the possibility that defects in cytosolic proteostasis are precipitated by mtDNA mutation was studied.
  • Third, the knowledge and concepts gained in S. cerevisiae to both candidate-based and unbiased searches for genes that determine the aftermath of severe mtDNA damage in human cells were applied.

Between 2009-2017, Dr. Dunn was a faculty member of the Molecular Biology and Genetics Department at Koç University. He is currently a PI at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki.