Johnson, Meghan E.

Meghan is a second year trainee and is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.  Her research mentor is Dr. Carla Koehler.  She received a B.A. degree in 2007 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mentor: Dr. Carla Koehler

Research project:

I am currently studying mitochondrial diseases using zebrafish as a model organism. Mitochondrial diseases represent a broad class of afflictions in which mitochondrial function is impaired, and mortality rates are often increased; it is estimated that 1 in 10,000 live births will have a mitochondrial disease. Most mitochondrial diseases affect the muscular and neural systems of the body. Recent studies show that well-known neurodegenerative diseases are potentially associated with proteins localized within the mitochondria. Because the mitochondrial genome is conserved between humans and zebrafish, I am working to generate fish with the same genetic mutations as those present in afflicted people. In doing so, I will be able to study the phenotypes and pathogenesis of these genetically-encoded myopathies.