CBBM Lecture "Why cancer cells with damaged DNA steal mitochondria from the stroma?" by

Professor Jiri Neuzil,

School of Medical Science,

Griffith University,


will take place on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in CBBM, Ground Floor, Seminar Room B1/B2.

Host: Dr. Stephanie Fliedner
Department of Internal Medicine I
Campus Lübeck
University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein


Cancer cells with damaged mitochondrial DNA, when grafted into a mouse, will form tumours only after acquiring mitochondrial (mt) DNA from the host. We have found that acquisition of mtDNA from the stroma occurs by transfer of whole mitochondria with mesenchymal stem cells as the most likely donors. Repopulation of cancer cells with mitochondria with healthy mtDNA results in recovery of mitochondrial respiration that is required for cancer formation and progression. The question remains how is recovery of mitochondrial respiration linked to tumour formation, whether this is linked to ATP production or metabolic remodeling. The answer to this question will be presented during the seminar.




Jiri Neuzil obtained his PhD from the Czech Academy of Sciences. After that, he spent 7 years as a post-doctoral fellow in the Heart Research Institute. During 1999-2001, he was a Junior Group Leader in the Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Munich. From 2002, he has been staff and later on Professor at the Griffith University in Australia. Since 2005, he has a co-joint position with the Institute of Biotechnology in Prague. His focus is on the role of mitochondria in tumour formation and progression and in mitochondria as novel targets for anti-cancer agents. One of these drugs, mitochondrially targeted tamoxifen, is now under a clinical trial. He has published some 200 scientific papers, his H-index is 52.