Mitochondria as new therapeutic targets in perinatal brain injury

Lead researcher

Dr Bryan Leaw

Main finding

Mitochondria are fast emerging as playing crucial roles in the pathogenesis of perinatal brain injury. Here we present published pathways on their involvement in cell death, excitotoxicity, as well as how impairments in normal mitochondria processes such as autophagy, mitophagy, biogenesis and fusion/fission can result or contribute to a disease state. Finally, we review current and future therapies targeting these pathways.


The Ritchie Centre

Research group

Fetal and Neonatal Health


Dr Syam Nair
Dr Rebecca Lim
Dr Claire Thornton
Prof Carina Mallard
Prof Henrik Hagberg

Journal and article title

Most surprising

Multiple therapies targeting mitochondria are already in clinical trials, with some showing early promise. There are a myriad of experimental therapies being assessed at both the in vitro and in vivo level that could ultimately prove to have clinical efficacy.

Future implications

There are many new avenues for reducing the impact of perinatal brain injury and subsequent complications later in life.

Disease/health impact

Perinatal brain injury