Advisor: Brett Kaufman
Research: Ms. Farmerie’s research is centered around developing novel therapeutics for mitochondrial disease. Mitochondrial diseases arise from mutations in mitochondrial DNA. The two most common mitochondrial diseases are Leigh Syndrome and MELAS which primarily affect children and result in death before the teenage years. In many cases, mitochondrial cardiomyopathy is responsible for death in patients with mitochondrial disease. Ms. Farmerie is utilizing gamma peptide nucleic acids, which act as synthetic analogs of DNA, to target mutated mitochondrial DNA. Mitochondrial diseases exist in a state of heteroplasmy, meaning that there is both healthy DNA and mutated DNA in the genome. The overall goal of Ms. Farmerie’s work is to deliver gPNAs to the mitochondrial DNA to halt the replication of mutated mitochondrial DNA so that only healthy DNA remains.
Honors & Awards: Department of Bioengineering Bevier Award Recipient for the 2021-2022 academic year