The proteomic architectures of apicomplexan cells: the molecular complexity of pathogens revealed


  • Dr Ross Waller

    University of Cambridge

Project summary

Apicomplexan parasites are a family of pathogens that cause several devastating diseases including malaria. They have highly adapted cell compartments evolved for efficient invasion of their hosts, defence against the immune system and disease transmission. Most of the molecular organisation and composition of these compartments is unknown and about half of the parasite’s proteins are completely uncharacterised. This severely limits our understanding of these pathogens and our strategies for disease prevention. 

We have pioneered the use of a new technology that enables determination of global spatial distributions of parasite proteins. This allows us to find out the locations and associations of parasite proteins and the compositions of their novel compartments. We will generate global protein atlases for related parasites Plasmodium and Toxoplasma in various stages of parasite development.     

Our findings will help in the development of prevention strategies for diseases such as malaria.