35th 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 2018
Frédéric Bringaud has been working for more than 25 years on the molecular biology and metabolism of trypanosomes. He obtained his PhD degree at the University of Bordeaux under the supervision of Théo Baltz, before joining Larry Simpson’s group in Los Angeles for two years. In 1994, he obtained a CNRS researcher position at the University of Bordeaux, where he is leading a group focusing on the central and energy metabolism of the procyclic and bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei. He is also co-director of the LabEx ParaFrap, a national network federating French research in Parasitology. One of the main objectives of this group is to elucidate the topology of the metabolic network of trypanosomes, including uncovering of new metabolic pathways and understanding regulations between the different metabolic branches of the network. His group is one of the very few in the parasitology field to have developed a combination of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry (MS) metabolomics approaches to study metabolism of a large collection of RNAi and/or KO mutants (single, double and triple mutants) covering most of the known branches of the central metabolism. He has also been involved in the bioinformatic analysis of transposable elements in the genomes of trypanosomatids, with the aim of understanding their evolution and roles in their host genome.
Reto Brun studied biology at the University of Basel and received his Ph.D. in 1973. Thereafter, he worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Irvine, where he studied differentiation processes in Leishmania. In 1976 he joined the Swiss Tropical Institute and initiated work on African trypanosomes including collaborations with African partners in East Africa. During the last 25 years his main interest was in drug discovery and development for diseases caused by protozoan parasites. At the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute he established a Drug Screening Centre which was involved in the discovery of many of the drug candidates for malaria and sleeping sickness which are in clinical development today. He is one of the most cited parasitologists in Europe with over 600 research articles and reviews. Since 2012 he is Prof. emer. and since the beginning of 2018 fully retired.
Susan Wyllie gained her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in 1999 following studies of the parasitic bacteria, Chlamydia psittaci. Following a 3-year postdoc at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), Susan joined the laboratory of Professor Alan Fairlamb at the University of Dundee studying the mechanism of action of antimonial drugs in Leishmania donovani. Now leading her own research group in Dundee, Susan’s research focuses on determining the mechanisms of action and mechanisms of resistance of drugs targeting kinetoplastid parasites. She will discuss how her current research programme involves:1)Using complementary methodologies in the fields of genomics, chemical proteomics and cell biology to determine the modes of action and specific molecular targets of phenotypically-active compounds, 2) Developing new genetic and cell biology tools for the study of drug mechanism of action, 3) Functional characterisation of novel targets and 4)Developing novel cell-based assays to exploit high value drug targets
John Kelly has been Professor of Molecular Biology at LSHTM since 2005, and was Head of the Pathogen Molecular Biology Department from 2010-15. The Kelly lab were the first to transfect Trypanosoma cruzi and have a long record in the development genetic tools for this parasite. He has published widely in the areas of trypanosome biochemistry, chromosome structure and function, and the mechanisms of drug action and resistance. A major focus of his current research, is the development and optimisation in vivo imaging techniques applicable to T. cruzi, as tools for assessing drug efficacy and disease pathogenesis.
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