Development and application of novel mitochondrial imaging technologies in the nervous system

Joseph Bateman (primary)
Basic and Clinical Neuroscience
King's College London
Michael Duchen (secondary)
Cell and Developmental Biology
University College London


Mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell and are key players in cellular metabolism. Many of the fundamental roles of mitochondria in neurons are still unknown due to the lack of tools for manipulating and monitoring mitochondrial function. In this project the student will develop novel mitochondrial imaging technologies in mammalian cultured neurons and in neuronal subtypes in the living brain in Drosophila. Optogenetics, combined with fluorescent reporters of mitochondrial function will be used at the subcellular level in mammalian neurons and in neural circuits in Drosophila. This project will reveal fundamental new insights into mitochondrial neurobiology.


1 Blacker et al., 2014, Nature Comms, 29: 3936.
2 Blacker and Duchen, 2016, Free Radic Biol Med, 100: 53-65.
3 Cagin et al., 2015, PNAS, 112: E6000-6009.
4 Gatt et al., 2016, Movement Disorders, 31:352-359.
5 Duncan et al., 2018, PLoS Genetics, 14(7):e1007567.

Genes, development and STEM* approaches to biology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyNeurobiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiophysicsGeneticsImage ProcessingMathematics / StatisticsMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology