Name: Melisa Emel Ermert 
Nationality: Turkish 
MSc education: Molecular Biology of the Cell
Current position: PhD Candidate
Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Riekelt Houtkooper, Dr. Herma Renkema, Prof. Dr. Eija Pirinen  
Social media handles: LinkedIn
Description of the project: Within the scope of my research project, the therapeutic role of NAD+ precursors and Khondrion’s compounds, particularly focusing on KH176, for the treatment of primary mitochondrial diseases (PMDs) will be investigated. Additionally, the potential synergistic effects that may arise from the combined administration of these compounds will be explored. Furthermore, the involvement of specific cellular oxidoreductases in the reduction of Khondrion’s compounds, resulting in NADH oxidation and the maintenance of the balance between NAD+ and NADH levels, will be examined.  To accomplish this, PMD-derived fibroblasts will be utilized as a model system for the research. Under various redox stress and treatment conditions, the levels of NAD metabolites will be analyzed using biochemical and cell culture techniques.   The outcomes of this research project hold significant promise for the development of new therapeutic approaches targeting PMDs and other NAD+ depletion-related diseases. By deepening our understanding of NAD+ metabolism and its role in cellular function, opportunities to identify more effective treatments and potentially discover novel therapeutic targets may be unlocked. 
Favorite way to keep NAD levels high: Incorporating movement and exercise into my daily routine is my favorite way to support NAD levels. I prefer taking the stairs instead of the elevator, engaging in full-body home workouts with progressive weight increments, practicing yoga in the mornings, and finding joy in dancing as a means of expression and physical activity.