Testimonial Throughout the grant preparation process I benefited from the full and dedicated support of the accelopment team in charge of my project: I could not have asked for more professional partners.
Prof. Carlo Vascotto
MITGEST Project Coordinator
University of Udine, Italy

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Quality Control of the Mitochondrial Gene Expression System in Health and Disease

Mitochondria produce most of the energy the body acquires through food, and are thus pivotal players in cellular metabolism. Central to mitochondrial biology is the DNA in the organelle (mtDNA): its maintenance, correct RNA processing, and efficient translation are all essential and must be coordinated to ensure proper mitochondrial function and cellular physiology. Defective maintenance or expression of mtDNA alters energy and nutrient metabolism, which are increasingly recognized to impact medical disciplines, ranging from hundreds of genetic disorders to neurodegeneration, immunology, transmissible disease, cancer and ageing. A deep understanding of the mitochondrial gene expression system and new methods are urgently needed to develop treatments for the full panoply of mitochondrial disorders that feature mtDNA perturbation.

MITGEST will unite world-class academic excellence in mtDNA maintenance and expression with private sector expertise in nucleic acid chemistry and the development of mitochondrial therapeutics to address this urgent need. As the first research training programme in this field to take a fully integrated approach, the project’s 10 doctoral candidates (DC) will elucidate how mtDNA is maintained and expressed and support the development of new methods to analyse RNA and DNA metabolism in mitochondria. These advances will complement and facilitate/enhance innovative treatment strategies and experimental medicine studies designed to mitigate mitochondrial dysfunction in a range of human diseases.

MITGEST’s network of 8 beneficiaries and 11 associated partners from 8 European countries and Israel builds on proven collaborations and establishes new partnerships to deliver intersectoral and multidisciplinary scientific and transferable skills training to the 10 PhD students to generate the next generation of highly-skilled scientists able to exploit the latest advances in mitochondrial biology and medicine.

Università degli Studi di Udine, IT


Funded Project

Duration01.09.2013 - 30.11.2016
Budget4.5 million euro


We are happy to share our experience through transferable skills online training courses for ESRs in ongoing MSCA-ITNs. Pick and choose from six interactive, hands-on modules.



My main goal is to relieve the scientists of their workload so that they can fully concentrate on their projects, and with our support, tackle the challenges of the future.

Jacqueline Strehler
Research & Innovation Project Manager