Wellcome Trust Centre For Mitochondrial Research

Rawaa Ali Zahid-Bakr


RawaaI am PhD student supervised by Professor Robert Lightowlers and Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers.

My research looks at where the mitochondrial translation process occurs inside the mitochondria by exploiting a newly produced genetic probe called the miniSOG for mini Singlet Oxygen Generator. This genetic tag is believed to be revolutionary.

I am interested in mitochondria, as this organelle appears to be linked to a vast range of different types of diseases.

Research Project

Investigating the molecular basis caused by mitochondrial gene expression defects

Principal Investigators: Professor Robert Lightowlers and Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers
Other staff members involved: Dr Alex Laude  and Dr Kathryn White

Project Details

Mitochondria are important organelles, they carry their own translation machinery for 13 polypeptides, the subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation process OXPHOS complexes I,III, IV, V which is responsible for the production of more than 90% of the energy needed by our cells and thus a defective translation process underlies many mitochondrial diseases making it especially imperative to further characterize components and mechanisms involved in the mitochondrial translation process, to be able to do that we need to provide a high resolution picture of the structure of the mitoribosome and to establish an in vitro mitochondrial translation system, to take us a further step towards this, our research is directed at verifying where the process of translation is taking place within the mitochondria by utilizing correlative super-resolution and electron microscopy approaches to visualize the active mitoribosome.

Sponsor/Funder: The Higher Committee for Education Development in Iraq (HCED)
Collaborators: Dr Katrhyn White, Senior Experimental Scientific Officer, Newcastle University and Dr Alex Laude, Senior Experimental Scientific Officer, Newcastle University