Euromit 2023: bringing the international community together.

By Dr Lyndsey Butterworth & Dr Laura Smith

Euromit, the premier international conference on mitochondrial pathology, saw the global mito community come together in Bologna, Italy for the first time since 2017 to share the latest updates in the field of mitochondrial medicine.

Group photo of all participants at Euromit 2023.

The prestigious six-day event was attended by 28 members of the Newcastle Team, providing an exceptional opportunity to connect with researchers, industry and patient organisations from across the globe and share the work we do aimed at improving the lives of those with mitochondrial disease and dysfunction.

Team Newcastle at Euromit 2023.

The incredible representation from Newcastle saw Dr Laura Greaves give a fantastic invited talk on mitochondrial DNA mutations in ageing and cancer, highlighting the crucial role of mitochondrial research in improving our understanding of many other conditions. Professor Gráinne Gorman was also invited to talk about the optimisation of clinical trials for mitochondrial disease through the use of digital technologies, whilst Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers chaired a session on mtDNA maintenance and expression. This session included an excellent oral presentation by Dr Tom Nicholls, who talked about his research that has identified pathological variants in TOP3A as a cause of mitochondrial and nuclear genome stability. We are also extremely proud of postgraduate student Imogen Franklin who was selected for an oral presentation and gave a brilliant talk on her PhD research project investigating mitochondrial DNA mutations in blood.

The Newcastle team presented 19 scientific posters throughout the conference, providing an invaluable opportunity to showcase the breadth of basic mitochondrial biology, clinical and translational research, and patient engagement being carried out across the Centre. This included a poster by Dr Lisa Alcock that was selected for a 1-minute flash talk to introduce her research investigating outcome measures to evaluate therapeutic responses in clinical trials.  

The extensive programme included a Young Investigators Meeting to support the next generation of mitochondrial scientists and clinicians, which saw Dr Shane Bell, Alejandro Rodriguez Luis and Dr Valeria Di Leo discuss their work with journal editors and other early career researchers. There was also a mentoring session which covered topics such as career planning and publishing.

The conference provided a wonderful opportunity to meet up with mitochondrial patient organisations from across the world, including the International Mito Patients who very kindly invited Dr Lyndsey Butterworth and Professor Gráinne Gorman to join their meeting and thank the global patient associations for their support on a recent rare disease centre funding application to LifeArc. There was also a dedicated patient session with globally renowned experts including Professor Bobby McFarland, which provided updates on the latest therapeutic developments for mitochondrial disease followed by an ‘Ask the Mito Doc’ question and answer session.

Other conference highlights included Professor Sir Doug Turnbull delivering the keynote lecture after the opening ceremony, which was a remarkable testament to his love of the North-east of England and his exceptional career in mitochondrial medicine. The meeting also saw an assembly for the recently formed European Society for Mitochondrial Research and Medicine (E-mit) in which the results of the first board election were revealed.  We are delighted that Dr Lyndsey Butterworth,Communication and Engagement Lead for the Newcastle Team, was voted onto the board in a role that will see all newly elected members work closely to bring the international mitochondrial community together for the benefit of everyone.

With 821 participants, from 38 countries, Euromit 2023 was a huge success and a brilliant opportunity to network with a dedicated community all working towards advancing research into mitochondrial disease and dysfunction. We would like to offer our sincere thanks to all the organisers, including Valeria Tiranti and Valerio Carelli, and look forward to seeing everyone in Angers, France for Euromit 2026 because together we are stronger.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Newcastle team members who attended Euromit 2023 and engaged the mitochondrial community with our research that aims to transform the lives of those living with mitochondrial disease and dysfunction.  Our poster presenters included: Adam Creigh, Alejandro Rodriguez Luis, Alia Saeed, Dr Charlotte Warren, Dr Helen Tuppen, Dr Christin Albus, Jon Meyrick, Prof Gráinne Gorman, Dr Laura Smith, Dr Lyndsey Butterworth, Dr Roisin Boggan, Dr Renae Stefanetti, Dr Lisa Alcock, Dr Sarah Pickett, Dr Shane Bell, Dr Valeria Di Leo, Dr Tiago Gomes, Yasmin Tang and Dr Yi Ng (photographs below).

For more information and to join E-mit, click here.