Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

Fei Gao


I am a post-doctoral research associate working in Professors Robert Lightowlers and Zosia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers’ lab. I am funded by the Wellcome Trust. The aim of my project is to identify the related signalling pathway of cell growth arrest caused by mitochondrial translation defect.

Research Project

Mitochondrial signalling pathways

Principal Investigators:
Professor Robert Lightowlers
Professor Zosia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers

Project Details

Mitochondria are the vital organelles containing their own genome. Dysfunctional mitochondria may due to the defect of nucleus encoded proteins or mitochondrial encoded 13 proteins. Mitochondrial dysfunction causes varies of human mitochondrial disease.  It has been found that loss of mitochondrial translation proteins make human cells death, cell growth arrest and cell morphology changes. However, the mechanism behind is still unclear.

My project aims to find the related mitochondrial signalling molecules and pathways which monitor mitochondria quality and communicate between mitochondria and nuclear. High-throughput screening and microarray are good tools for determine the signalling pathways in this project. The finding of this project will help us gain a better understanding of the mechanism of mitochondria disease and a potential way for the future drug design.

Contact: fei.gao@ncl.ac.uk 
Wellcome Trust


  1. Joanna Rorbach*, Fei Gao*, Christopher A. Powell, Aaron D’Souza, Robert N. Lightowlers, Michal Minczuk, and Zofia M. Chrzanowska-Lightowlers. (2016) Human mitochondrial ribosomes can switch their structural RNA composition. PNAS, 113 (43) 12198-12201. (Co-first author)
  2. Haoran Tai*, Zhe Wang*, Hui Gong*, Xiaojuan Han, Xiawei Wei, Jiao Zhou, Xiaobo Wang, Yi Ding, Ning Huang, Jianqiong Qin, Jie Zhang, Shuang Wang, Fei Gao, Zofia M. Chrzanowska-Lightowlers, Rong Xiang, Henyi Xiao. (2016) Autophagy impairment with lysosomal and mitochondrial dysfunction is an important characteristic of oxidative stress-induced senescence. Autophygy.
  3. Emily Mavin, Lindsay Nicholson, Syed Rafez Ahmed, Anne Dickinson, Fei Gao, Xiao-nong Wang. (2016) Human regulatory T cells mediate transcriptional modulation of dendritic cell function. The Journal of Immunology.
  4. Fei Gao, Frank Voncken, Cath Wadforth, Maggie Harley and Claudia Colasante. ( 2013)  Different arginine kinase isoforms are involved in the spatial energy-storage system of the kinetoplastid parasite Trypanosoma brucei. PLoS One. 8(6):e65908 ( Co-first author)
  5. Priscila Peña-Diaz, Ludovic Pelosi, Charles Ebikeme, Claudia Colasante, Fei Gao, Frederic Bringaud and Frank Voncken.( 2012) Functional characterisation of TbMCP5, a conserved and essential ADP/ATP carrier present in the mitochondrion of the human pathogen Trypanosoma brucei. J Biol Chem, 287(50):41861-74.