Dr Olivier Biner
Olivier Biner recently finished his PhD in biochemistry at the University of Bern, in which he worked on the bottom-up construction of a synthetic respiratory chain and discovered a new class of enzymes involved in the elimination of reactive oxygen species in the human gut bacterium Escherichia coli.
After his PhD studies, Olivier joined the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit (MBU) as a post-doctoral fellow. His current project is focused on reverse electron transfer (RET) in complex I. It has been shown that RET is responsible for the oxidative tissue damage occurring during heart attacks and strokes, the onset of different severe neurodegenerative diseases and even ageing itself. At the moment, there is no model system for RET that is readily accessible to genetic modification, and RET has never been demonstrated in prokaryotic complex I. In his project, Olivier aims to establish a minimal model system for the RET reaction using a prokayotic version of complex I that can easily be manipulated for mechanistic and functional studies.