Understanding unconventional kinetoplastid kinetochores in Trypanosoma brucei

Year of award: 2018


  • Dr Bungo Akiyoshi

    University of Oxford

Project summary

All cells must transmit their genetic material accurately to their offspring. Errors in this process lead to diseases such as cancer and birth defects. Revealing the mechanism used by cells to pass on their genetic material is important for understanding the molecular basis of diseases.

Trypanosomes are parasites that cause sleeping sickness in people in Africa. They diverge from popular model organisms, such as yeast, as they use a different set of proteins to separate chromosomes. By characterising these proteins, I will try to gain a deeper understanding of how cells accurately transmit their genetic material.

The results of this study will facilitate the development of drugs that specifically kill the trypansosome parasite and can cure sleeping sickness.