Cell morphogenesis, development and pathogenicity in trypanosomes


  • Prof Keith Gull

    University of Oxford

Project summary

The kinetoplastid parasites that cause trypanosomiasis and leishmaniasis represent major threats to world health and agricultural development. Sustained diagnostic and control efforts have lowered the number of new cases from earlier epidemic proportions. However, this improving picture relies on often-fragile infrastructure for complex diagnosis and treatment. Significant challenges remain for improving trypanocide use for livestock disease, which is still inhibitory to agricultural development. Professor Gull's primary aim is to understand the molecular cell biology of cell form and shape in Trypanosoma brucei and other kinetoplastids in relation to their pathogenicity, life cycle and evolution. This research will provide an integrated view of the trypanosome cytoskeleton, from component proteins to complexes, and the mechanisms of building the high-order organisation of the main structures. It offers a route to understanding dependency relationships in the construction of these structures and how they influence major membrane domains associated with receptor and sensory functions.