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International Speakers

David J. Pagliarini, PhD

David J. Pagliarini, PhD (US)
Washington University School of Medicine

Dave Pagliarini is the Hugo F. and Ina C. Distinguished Professor and BJC Investigator at Washington University School of Medicine. Prior to moving to St. Louis, Dave was the Lead Investigator and Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. Chair of Metabolism at the Morgridge Institute for Research and a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating with honors in from the University of Notre Dame, Dave received a Ph.D. in biochemistry at UC San Diego and performed his postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School/The Broad Institute. At WashU, Dave leads an interdisciplinary team of scientists focusing on a range of leading-edge challenges in mitochondrial biochemistry and metabolism.

In particular, Dave’s lab blends large-scale systems approaches with mechanistic biochemistry to define the molecular underpinnings of mitochondria dysfunction in human disease. Dave has received a number of honors for his work, including a Searle Scholar Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the Young Investigator award from the Protein Society, and the Earl and Thressa Stadtman Young Scholar Award from the ASBMB. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Carrie, and their two sons.

Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers

Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers (UK)

Newcastle University

Professor Zofia Chrzanowska-Lightowlers is a founding member of the Wellcome Centre for Mitochondrial Research at Newcastle University, UK.  The Centre combines fundamental, clinical, and diagnostic studies on human mitochondria.  Her own research group interests are in RNA metabolism, gene expression in human mitochondria, and how this is altered under disease conditions.  Zofia is also the deputy degree director of a suite of research Masters courses that register over 200 students each year and has supervised over 25 PhD students to successful completion of their degrees.

She has recently stepped down from her role as Director of the Institute of Neuroscience, and is now co-lead of a Centre for Research Excellence in Transformative Neuroscience.

After her PhD she received the Sir Henry Wellcome Commemorative Award for Innovative Research, followed a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship and has subsequently had continuous Wellcome Trust funding as well as grants from the EU, BBSRC, MRC, Royal Society, Pathological Society.

Lena Ho

Lena Ho (Singapore)

Duke-NUS Medical School

Lena earned her PhD at Stanford in 2010, followed by postdoctoral training at the Institute of Medical Biology, A*STAR in Singapore. In 2017, she established the Endogenous Peptides Lab in Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, which utilizes a combinatorial platform to discover and functionalize novel sORF-encoded peptides (SEPs), or microproteins in the human genome. Her goal is to uncover programmatic functions that SEPs might play, afforded by their special size, biochemical and genomic properties, as well as detailed molecular mechanisms employed by individual SEPs where they operate. Lena is an EMBO Young Investigator and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Research Scholar.

Photo by Dwight C. Andrews/McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Office of Communications
Dr. Mary Kay Koenig - Pediatrics, Child and Adolescent Neurology, Mitochondrial Clinic Director

Mary Kay Koenig (US)

University of Texas

Dr Mary Kay Koenig serves as the Director of the Center for the Treatment of Pediatric Neurodegenerative Disease (CTPND) and Director of Research for the Division of Child & Adolescent Neurology at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School. Dr. Koenig attended the University of Texas in Austin where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry. She received a Masters of Science in Microbiology at Southwest Texas State University followed by her Medical Doctorate at St. George’s School of Medicine. Dr. Koenig completed a pediatrics residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Neurology at The University of Texas Medical School. Upon completion of her fellowship she joined the faculty and is now a tenured professor.

She has served as the director for the UT Mitochondrial Center of Excellence since 2007, and as the Leigh Syndrome clinic director since 2013.  She was appointed President of the Mitochondrial Medicine Society in June 2022. Dr. Koenig strives to provide excellent clinic care and advance research for children afflicted with genetic neurodegenerative diseases.

National Speakers

Prof. David Thorburn

Murdoch Children’s Research Inst.

Prof. Aleksandra Filipovska

Harry Perkins Institute

Prof. John Carroll

Monash University

Prof. Carolyn Sue AM

Kolling Institute

Prof. Steve Zuryn

Queensland Brain Institute


Prof. Livia Hool

University of Western Australia

Prof. David Bishop

Victoria University

Prof. Rebecca Robker

University of Adelaide

Prof. John Christodoulou

Murdoch Children’s Research Inst.

Prof. Megan Maher

University of Melbourne

Dr Diana Stojanovski

University of Melbourne

Dr David Stroud

University of Melbourne

Dr Ann Frazier

Murdoch Children’s Research Inst.

Sean Murray

Mito Foundation

Dr Julia Pagan

University of Queensland

Dr Alexis Diaz-Vegas

Charles Perkins Centre