Mr Muhammad Javed

2011 Amelie Waring Fellow

Title: Mitochondrial cyclophilin D: a novel molecular target for the treatment of necrotizing pancreatitis

Project Start Date: 3 August 2011

Completion Date: 2 August 2014


Pancreatitis is a common, serious illness. It is caused by gallstones, which can make bile go into the pancreas, or by drinking too much alcohol, which is turned into dangerous chemicals in the pancreas. One in five people with pancreatitis have very bad disease that may need intensive care and treatment in hospital for several months – chronic ill health or even death can result. The pancreas makes digestive juice containing enzymes, substances which break down food to be absorbed, but in pancreatitis the enzymes attack the pancreas itself. Sadly there are few treatments for pancreatitis, and no useful drugs, so this disease must be understood better and efforts should be made to discover new treatments. The work proposed here would be done with a leading team of scientists and hospital doctors who have discovered that there is a special opening in cells, which if kept open is very harmful. The way that the opening damages the body is by injury to parts of cells, the building blocks of the body. The parts of cells which are injured are mitochondria, which use the fuel from food to make energy. Blocking the bad opening protects the mitochondria and prevents damage. The aim of this project is to discover new drugs that will block the opening, to help cells live and work normally, and to make patients with bad pancreatitis better. Experiments will be conducted using the most modern equipment with high-powered microscopes that show changes in living cells, including human cells – given freely and willingly by pancreas patients. The research will test new drugs that block the opening and could help many people with bad pancreatitis.