The Role of Mitochondria and Mitochondrial DNA in Reproduction
Tuesday 23th March, 2021. 3PM EST/ 7PM GMT / 8PM CET
PROFESSOR JUS ST. JOHN
Professor Jus St. John leads the Mitochondrial Genetics Group at the Robinson Research Institute, the University of Adelaide. His research focuses on understanding how mitochondrial DNA is transmitted and replicated. Using a variety of assisted reproductive technologies and embryonic stem cell models, he has described mitochondrial DNA replication events in oocytes, embryos and undifferentiated and differentiating embryonic stem cells and shown why they are important to developmental outcome. Additionally, he has shown how mitochondrial DNA copy number is regulated in a cell-specific manner by DNA methylation of the nuclear-encoded mitochondrial DNA-specific polymerase; and how mtDNA haplotypes influence chromosomal gene expression patterns. He is currently developing pig models of autologous mitochondrial DNA supplementation to enhance developmental outcomes; and reproductive strategies to prevent the transmission of mutant mitochondrial DNA from one generation to the next. He has published in The Lancet, Nature Chemical Biology, Nature Cell Biology, Nucleic Acids Research, Stem Cells, Cell Death and Differentiation, Journal of Cell Science, and Genetics. In 2013, he received the Society for Reproductive Biology’s Award for Excellence in Reproductive Biology Research.