• Question: how do you make medicines safer????

    Asked by zoya to Rachel on 19 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      I look at ways that different medicines can damage mitochondria in cells. This is one way that some medicines can cause toxic side-effects, such as reduced heart function or liver damage. Mitochondria are essential for making most of the energy a cell needs to survive and work properly. Organs that require a lot of energy to function (e.g. the brain, liver and heart) are particularly sensitive to mitochondrial damage by medicines. If I can help to understand how different medicines damage mitochondria, we can use this knowledge to help chemists design safer ones in the future.