Andreia Albuquerque-Wendt | Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford
Protozoa are single celled eukaryotes which can be free-living or parasitic. My PhD focused on the Glycobiology of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and currently I am identifying transporters proteins important for Leishmania macrophage infection.
The Plasmodium closely related T. gondii causes toxoplasmosis and is estimated to infects 1 in 3 individuals worldwide. Due to its facilitated laboratory culture, access to genetic manipulation tools and established characterization protocols, T. gondii is commonly used as a model for the study of other apicomplexans.
Leishmania sp. cause a broad range of diseases known as leishmaniases, affecting over 1 million people worldwide. Thanks to the recently developed CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tools in this parasite, it is now possible to perform high throughput knock-outs and investigate the function of multiple genes within weeks. Using this state-of-the-art technique, I am targeting the transportome of Leishmania mexicana and hoping to shed some light both in terms of virulence as well as drug resistance mechanisms of these parasites.
In this talk, I will give a few insights on how I genetically manipulated Toxoplasma, investigated the importance of a glycosyltransferase and how that influenced the biology and infection mechanism of this parasite. In addition, I will give a brief introduction to the CRISPR/Cas9 system currently in use by our laboratory and how I will use it to identify the transportome of Leishmania parasites.
Host: Sofia Cortes