Matthew Zorkau


I completed my undergraduate degree in Physiology at the University of Liverpool before undertaking a Masters in Biomedical Science at the University of Melbourne. I began my PhD position as a Marie Curie Fellow in the REMIX (REgulation of MItochondrial gene eXpression) network at Newcastle in July 2017.

Research Focus

Characterising the localisation and regulation of mitochondrial protein synthesis

This project involves developing a novel method to visualise newly synthesised mitochondrial proteins with high powered fluorescence microscopy by utilising click chemistry. With this approach both the amount and distribution of nascent mitochondrial proteins within intact cells can be quantified.

By combining the technique with STED (STimulated Emission Depletion) microscopy for super resolution imaging, the sub mitochondrial localisation of these click chemistry-labelled mitochondrial proteins can be investigated. Levels of mitochondrial translation will be compared between different cell types, including patient cells harbouring mitochondrial DNA mutations.

Furthermore, a click chemistry approach will also be used to isolate nascent mitochondrial complexes that will be sent for mass spectrometric analysis. In this way, candidate translational regulators of mitochondrial DNA-encoded proteins will be discovered and characterised. 

Sponsor/funder: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions – Initial Training Network.