Gisela Otten

Newcastle University Institute for Ageing 2nd Floor Biomedical Research Building Campus for Ageing and Vitality Newcastle-upon-Tyne NE4 5PL


Dr Viktor Korolchuk and Dr Elizabeth Veal

I did my bachelors degree in Molecular Life Sciences at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands). During that degree, I did several short research projects that stirred my interest in having a research career. I continued my training with a research Masters degree again at the University of Groningen, during which I did a 6-month project in the Korolchuk lab at Newcastle University. I studied basic molecular cell biology mechanisms of mitophagy (degradation of mitochondria via autophagy) and am now doing my PhD in the same lab.

Project title: Redox-dependent molecular mechanisms of mitophagy

Mitochondrial dysfunction is associated with several neurodegenerative and muscular diseases and ageing. Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell and involved in many cellular processes but they are also a source of highly damaging reactive oxygen species (ROS). Damaged mitochondria can be cleared by a process called mitophagy. Among components of the mitophagy machinery are PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1), the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin and the adapter proteins such as p62 involved in recruitment of autophagic membrane to the ubiquitin-tagged defective mitochondria. During my PhD I will study redox-dependent molecular mechanisms of mitophagy.

Where did I get my PIPs

PIPS Internship Organisation Name




When deciding on your internship, what did you want to experience and what did you hope to gain from that experience?

I hoped to learn some new techniques and I wanted to experience what it is like to work in industry. 

Did you get the experience you were expecting and did you achieve the personal development you had hoped to make?

I've learned to do hydrogen sulphide measurements, although it mainly failed.  And I now got my experience in industry.  I had hoped to learn a few more techniques.

Has the internship made you feel differently about potential career options and has it helped to put the skills from research into a broader context?

Yes, I think I'll stay in academia.


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