Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

Carla Roca Bayerri


I completed my BSc undergraduate degree in Microbiology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, during which I did an internship at Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology (Newcastle University).

When I finished, I went on to do an MRes in Ageing at Health at Newcastle University. I am now a phD student at the Welcome Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research. My phD project focuses on the study of anti-retroviral drug effects on mitochondrial DNA mutations.

Research Project

Does Anti-Retroviral Therapy Accelerate the Speed of Physiological Ageing Through the Clonal Expansion of MtDNA Mutations?

Principal Investigators: Doctor Brendan Payne and Professor Rita Horvath

Project Details

The aim of the project is to determine whether anti-retroviral treated HIV-infected persons are subject to an acceleration of cellular and physiological ageing through the clonal expansion of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations.

Patients with long-term treated HIV exhibit features of accelerated biological ageing. Currently we don’t understand why this happens, or the consequences for health. The project will investigate the hypothesis

that certain anti-HIV drugs act on mitochondrial DNA mutations occurring due to normal ageing, and cause them to expand within cells (a process known as ‘clonal expansion’), leading to physiological impairment.

Email: c.roca1@newcastle.ac.uk

Sponsor/Funder: Faculty PhD studentship

Outcomes: Oral presentation at the 7th International Workshop on HIV&Aging in Washington DC, USA in September 2016.