Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


The goal of this project was to document and evaluate the new technology of mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT) and assess its technical, ethical, and legal problems to determine if it should be approved in the U.S. We reviewed the current literature and interviewed academic researchers, in vitro fertility experts, and bioethicists. Based on this data, we recommend the FDA approve MRT for a small group of patients and closely monitor the progress of their offspring before conducting MRT on a large scale. We recommend approval only for treating mitochondrial disease, and assigning parental rights to the two nuclear donors. Although useful, animal models and in vitro studies are imperfect, so we really just need to move forward with closely monitored human experiments.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

August 2015

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology