Dr Rebecca Dimond
Rebecca has recently been awarded an ESRC Future Research Leaders grant to explore the development of reproductive technologies involving mitochondria transfer. Her three year project is titled 'Patient and professional understanding of risk: how complexity and uncertainty of genetic knowledge impacts on reproductive decision making'. (ESRC ref 504751 2014 - 2016).
The emergence of novel IVF techniques involving mitochondria donation could give women with mitochondrial disease the opportunity to have healthy children. The possibility that a future generation can be born without mitochondrial disease has been widely embraced by patients and professionals. However, accounts of mitochondrial donation, particularly within media coverage assume a level of technological determinism, that if these techniques are available then this will 'halt', 'eliminate' or 'eradicate' mitochondrial disease from families. The research will contribute to the debate by examining how patients with mitochondrial disease make reproductive choices and how their experiences of health and illness shape or direct their decisions.