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Your gift directly funds scientific research towards a cure and new treatments for Complex I Deficiency.

We are the Spooner family.

We need your help

Two of our daughters, Calyn & Ryann, live with Mitochondrial Complex I Deficiency, a rare genetic disease that affects their cerebellum. They have cognitive delays, struggle with motor control, and depend on adults for everything. We love our beautiful girls with all of our being. We dream of a day when research can unlock the mysteries of this terrible disease, so that Calyn, Ryann, and other children like them can live happier, healthier lives.

Meet the Lead Researcher

Virginia Kimonis, MD

Dr. Virginia KimonisDr. Kimonis is privileged to serve as a clinician Scientist in the Division of Clinical and Biochemical Genetics, UC Irvine and CHOC. She received her medical degree from Southampton Medical School, UK and completed residencies in pediatrics and general practice in the UK before moving to the US. She completed a residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and fellowship training in clinical and biochemical genetics at the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins and Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital. Prior to her move to UC Irvine in 2006, she worked at Boston Children’s Hospital and Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. She is board certified in Clinical Biomedical Genetics, Clinical Genetics and Pediatrics.


Dr. Kimonis’ NUPBL research includes creation of a conditional knockout mouse in which researchers inactivate or “knock out” an existing gene specifically in the brain of the mouse. Knockout mice are important animal models for studying the role of genes which have been sequenced but whose functions have not been fully determined. We predict this loss of the gene activity will causes changes in the mouse’s appearance, brain structure, behavior and other observable physical and biochemical characteristics.  Since we still do not fully know what the NUPBL gene does this type of research is the best option for observing differences from normal behavior or brain activity,. The mouse model will accelerate new treatments for patients with NUPBL disease and other more common disorders.


Download Dr. Kimonis’ full bio: Click Here

In The News

Thank you for your support. Your tax-deductible gift directly funds research into the NUBPL gene. We hope this work leads to new treatments and a cure for Complex I Deficiency, and that it might also provide answers about other conditions associated with the gene, including Parkinson’s Disease.

Contact Us

The more we connect with other NUBPL families, the closer we get to finding a cure.  Do you have NUBPL or do you think you may?  Or, are you a researcher who is interested in studying NUBPL?  Please contact us.  We want to hear from you. Although some families are public about their journey, we respect your desire for privacy.

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