Interview of the month

July 2024:
Q&A with Mélanie Abou-Ali, Ph.D. Student

Tell us about your research background and goals.

I started my PhD 2 years ago and what I knew about mitochondria was that they were the cell’s powerhouse. During these 2 years I opened my eyes on so many roles and ways mitochondria are involved in the cells, out of cells and between cells. One of the proofs that mitochondria are central to the body’s function are mitochondrial diseases. They are extremely heterogeneous, appear at all ages and affect all organs. My team’s research goal is to understand how mutations in a mitochondrial gene (CHCHD10) can provoke tremendous changes in mitochondrial functions and lead to life threatening diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases or cardiomyopathies. Being able to dissect and understand the mechanisms that create these changes is the first step to find therapeutic strategies in diseases where no treatment is available currently.

What is something you are proud you've accomplished so far as a Researcher?

As a researcher I am proud every time I obtain new results that get me closer to the answer that I am looking for in my project. I am also proud to be Junior representative in this society and contribute to sharing the knowledge on mitochondrial diseases internationally.

What's your favorite quote?

To bring about change, you must not be afraid to take the first step. We will fail when we fail to try." — Rosa Parks

What is your favorite activity to do during winter?

Drinking a hot chocolate while having the most interesting and unexpected conversations with my friends and family

Where is your happy place?

My happy place is anywhere where there is sun, water and nature. Maybe that’s why I live in the Côte d’Azur!

Mélanie Abou-Ali, Ph.D. Student

Graduate student at the Institute for Research on Cancer and Aging (IRCAN),
Université Côte d’Azur, Nice.