Aleksandra Trifunovic, Principal Investigator at the Cluster of Excellence CECAD, will coordinate the REMIX project (REgulation of MItochondrial gene eXpression), an Innovation Training Network funded under the highly competitive Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action of the European Commission. The key aim of the REMIX network is to combine the skills of European research groups to strategically train the next generation of scientists in a program that will contribute to elucidating the molecular mechanisms and pathways that regulate mitochondrial gene expression.
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell - and they play an important role in aging processes and associated diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes. "Despite the fact that these diseases are quite common, it is surprising that our understanding of the mechanisms governing mitochondrial gene expression and its associated pathologies remain superficial and therapeutic interventions unexplored," says Aleksandra Trifunovic. "The complex nature of mitochondrial gene expression that relies on two different genomes calls for a multidisciplinary approach in which different teams of researchers join forces. We are happy to have the opportunity to further develop this research in the next four years." Besides Aleksandra Trifunovic, other leading experts in the field of mitochondrial function are active in the REMIX network, including Thomas Langer and Elena Rugarli (both CECAD PIs), James Stewart (Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing - MPI AGE) and researchers from six other leading European universities.
The Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), the Cluster Biotechnology North Rhine-Westphalia (BIO-NRW) and the German EIT Health GmbH (EIT-Health) will be some of the important partners ensuring the success of the REMIX network. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action ITN is tendered by the European Commission as part of Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. The REMIX-project will receive a total of 3.9 million euros in funding over the next four years.