Welcome to the Swiss Trypanosomatid Meeting

34th Annual Meeting of the Swiss Trypanosomatid research community. Presentations are given mostly by graduate students as well as some distinguished invited speakers. The meeting is an excellent opportunity for networking.

Distinguished invited speakers 2017

sam-alsford-editedDr. Sam Alsford, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Invited group.

Sam Alsford is an Associate Professor of molecular parasitology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he has been since 2003. During this time he worked as a post-doc in Prof David Horn’s lab before becoming an independent researcher in 2013. He has worked on various aspects of Trypanosoma brucei biology, including the molecular control of antigenic variation, rDNA expression control and anti-trypanosomal drug mode-of-action; the latter substantially increased our understanding of drug uptake and resistance mechanisms in T. brucei. His current research focuses on deciphering and characterising the parasite protein networks that underlie the efficacy of anti-trypanosomatid molecules (both drugs and innate immune factors). Recent findings have revealed the differential influence of T. brucei lysosomal proteins on the trypanolytic efficacy of human serum and primate apolipoprotein-L1, and highighted other parasite proteins that drive trypanolysis. Other work has identified a cohort of T. brucei proteins whose Leishmania orthologues may contribute to anti-leishmanial drug efficacy.

http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_203979_en.jpgDr. Annette MacLeod, University of Glasgow, UK

Annette MacLeod’s research career began in the University of Leicester with Alec Jeffreys, studying human genetics. She then changed fields, to study for her PhD in infectious diseases at the University of Glasgow in the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, examining the genetics of African Trypanosomes, the causative agent of African sleeping sickness. Annette launched an independent career initially with a fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2004, then a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellowship in 2007 and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellowship in 2011 to extend her studies into host/parasite interactions. She co-founded TrypanoGEN to investigate human susceptibility to trypanosomiasis and is depute director of the Liverpool/Glasgow Centre for Global Health.
Annette will talk about her recent discovery that substantial quantities of trypanosomes exist within the skin and can be transmitted back to the tsetse fly vector, even in the absence of detectable signs of infection in the animal or detectable parasites in the blood. She will also present data indicating the presence of parasites in human skin biopsies from individuals who displayed no symptoms. The study’s findings suggest skin-dwelling parasites could be sufficiently abundant in the skin to be ingested, transmitted and so able to spread the disease further.

Dr Maria de Nazaré Correia Soeiro, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil

Graduated in Biological Sciences at Faculdade de Humanidades do Pedro II, Brazil, Dr Soeiro got her MSc defense (in Parasitology Program at IOC/Fiocruz) in 1993 regarding the Biological aspects of surface molecules acting at the invasion steps of Trypanosoma cruzi on cardiac cells. The PhD degree (in Cellular and molecular biology Program– IOC/Fiocruz) regarding the role of acute phase proteins on different mouse models of T.cruzi infection was defended at 1999. Part of the experimental studies (molecular and ultrastructural approaches) was conducted both at the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven (Department of Human Genetics, Campus GasthuisbergB-3000, Leuven, Belgium) and at Institut National de la Sante et la Recherche Medicale (INSERM Laboratoire de Microscopie Moléculaire et Cellulaire, UMR 8532, Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France). At 2002 and 2005, Dr Soeiro worked at the INSERM (Unit 524 – at Laboratoire de Pharmacologie Antitumorale – IRCL, Lille/França and EMI INSERM 01-05 – CEA/Grenoble/France, respectively) due to bilateral collaborative projects regarding programmed cell death mechanisms and TGF-beta signaling during T.cruzi infection. The team of Dr Soeiro has expertise in experimental chemotherapy (in vitro and in vivo) for anti-parasitic agents (synthetic and biomolecules), especially for Chagas disease. Presently she is titular Researcher from Oswaldo Cruz Institute (IOC/Fiocruz), head of the Cellular Biology Laboratory (IOC/FIOCRUZ). From 2007 up to 2009, was coordinator of Chagas Disease Program from FIOCRUZ (http://www.fiocruz.br/pidc). Since 2003, she acts on the Biosafety Inter Commission of IOC (CIBIO) working (2004-2012) as Head of the Professional Trainee in Biosafety –CIBIO/IOC. Since 2005, she is member from the Scientific Stage Committee from IOC (PIBIC/IOC), being the head from 2006-2007 and 2012-2014, and presently is member of the Pos-graduation committee of Biologia Parasitária Program (IOC/Fiocruz). Dr Soeiro is referee of several international scientific journals and member from the editorial team of Parasitology. Dr Soeiro participates in different Consortium and Networks (CPDD, RESNET, PDE4PNPD, CORALSOL, among others), has published 89 peer reviewed research papers and reviews, has 08 book chapters, edited one book and supervised 20 master and PhDs thesis. Over the years, Dr Soeiro has been awarded with several prizes, including the best PhD thesis of one of her students on Biological Science at 2012, by CAPES (Brazil).

Dr. Yves -Laurent Jackson, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Yves Jackson trained as an internist and currently heads an outpatient clinic for vulnerable groups of population (migrants, homeless, etc.) at the Geneva University Hospitals. He holds a diploma of tropical medicine and international health (Mahidol University, Bangkok), a combined master degree in public and international health from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and he completed his PhD on the emergence of Chagas disease in Europe at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. His interest in Chagas disease arose with the increasing number of cases seen in Geneva among recently arrived Latin American immigrants in the mid-2000’s. In collaboration with Prof Francois Chappuis, he has been leading research projects on various epidemiological and clinical aspects of this emerging disease in Europe and has designed guidelines for its screening and management in non-endemic countries. He currently participates in international networks of clinicians and researchers aiming at better tackling the contemporary challenges of Chagas disease.

Dr. Eric Chatelain, DNDi, Geneva, Switzerland

Dr Chatelain joined DNDi in July 2007 as a senior project manager focusing on screening and discovery projects for new drugs for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), leishmaniasis and Chagas disease. Prior to joining DNDi, Dr Chatelain held various positions at Spirig Pharma Ltd., a Swiss-based company developing dermatology drugs. Most recently, he served as the Spirig Pharma’s Head of Preclinical Research. Dr Chatelain completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, in London, UK and the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel, Switzerland. He earned his PhD in Biochemistry at the National Institute of Applied Sciences, Lyon France.


eva_gluenzDr. Eva Gluenz, University of Oxford, UK

Eva Gluenz’s interest in the molecular cell biology of kinetoplastids started at the University of Bern, where she did a Masters project with Tom Seebeck. She went to the UK in 2001, first to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, for her PhD work on T. cruzi with John Kelly, and then to Oxford where she worked with Keith Gull on various aspects of the cell biology of T. brucei, including the organisation and segregation of kinetoplast DNA and changes of cell shape and form during the cell and life cycle of these parasites. In 2011 she was awarded a Royal Society University Research Fellowship to start an independent research career at Oxford. Her current research focuses on the cell biology of Leishmania amastigote forms and the role of their flagellum in infection. Her lab has a strong focus on developing methods for genetic manipulation and imaging of Leishmania to harness genome, transcriptome and proteome data to dissect the cell biology of amastigotes. Recent work includes a genome-wide study of L. mexicana gene expression in different life cycle stages, development of a rapid CRISPR/Cas9 editing method for Leishmania and discovery of new flagellar mutant phenotypes in a focused CRISPR knockout screen.




Photos credits

© Hotel Mercure Classique – www.mercure.com
© Dr. Myron G. Schultz – Trypanosoma cruzi crithidia – wikipedia.org
© Alan R Walker – Trypanosoma evansi protozoa – wikipedia.org