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Characterization of ‘new’ human mitoribosomal proteins and the assembly factors that generate functional 55S particles



My main research interest is mitochondriology in health and disease. This broad interest encompasses the spectrum of research covered by our Mitochondrial Research Group. Currently, I have projects that focus on the molecular aetiology of mitochondrial disease, treatment regimes for these disorders, mitochondrial genetics and a large concern in mitochondrial gene expression in man. These interests have substantial overlaps and by detailing a process of mitochondrial transfection, we hope to be able to manipulate the mitochondrial genome and to establish the fundamentals of mitochondrial gene expression.

Latest Publications

Rorbach J, Gao F, Powell CA, D'Souza A, Lightowlers RN, Minczuk M, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers ZM (2016). Human mitochondrial ribosomes can switch their structural RNA composition. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., pii: 201609338. [Epub ahead of print]

Lightowlers RN, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. (2015). Mutations causing mitochondrial disease: What is new and what challenges remain? Science, 349(6255):1494-9

Richter R, Rorbach J, Pajak A, Smith PM, Wessels HJ, Huynen MA, Smeitink JA, Lightowlers RN, Chrzanowska-Lightowlers ZM. (2010). A functional peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase, ICT1, has been recruited into the human mitochondrial ribosome. EMBO J. 29(6):1116-25 



Prof. Dr. Robert Lightowlers

Trust Centre for Mitochondrial Research, Newcastle University

Institute of Neuroscience, The Medical School, Framlington Place
Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4HH, UK

Telephone +44-191-208-8028
E-mail robert.lightowlers(at)