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Alliance Française contre les Maladies Parasitaires


 

  Derrick Robinson

 

 

Derrick ROBINSON

Information

microscope Laboratoire de Microbiologie Fondamentale et Pathogénicité CNRS UMR-5234 
team Trypanosome and Toxoplasma cytoskeleton biogenesis 
location Bordeaux
orcid 0000-0001-5572-4127 
email Cette adresse e-mail est protégée contre les robots spammeurs. Vous devez activer le JavaScript pour la visualiser.
website http://www.mfp.cnrs.fr/mfp/team_bct_en.php
twitter @LocutustheBorg 

Scientific interests and projects

Introduction:
Trypanosoma brucei is the agent of human African trypanosomiasis and threatens millions of people in 40+ sub - Saharan countries. T. brucei belongs to the class Kinetoplastida, including other human pathogens; T.cruzi, (Chagas disease) and Leishmania sp (leishmaniasis disease). There are no vaccines for these diseases and treatment can be complex and toxic. Toxoplasma gondii is a protist that is a serious threat to the health of immunocompromised patients and pregnant women. Around 30% of the human population is chronically infected by the latent encysted form for which no treatment exist. It is transmitted by ingesting water, soil, vegetables, or anything contaminated with oocysts shed in the feces of an infected animal.

Scientific interests:
Research into the basic biology of these pathogens is needed to identify new diagnostic and therapeutic tools. All Eukaryotic organisms have a cytoskeleton. It consists of proteins that form the internal skeleton and is required for cell shape and polarity. It can be stable or dynamic and is essential in the differentiation from non-infective stages to infective stages. Parasite cytoskeletons have proteins that are common with their host, but importantly also novel important proteins.

Scientific activity within ParaFrap:
We are interested in the biology and pathogenicity of protists parasites. Building the cytoskeleton and characterizing novel cytoskeletal proteins as drug targets are our major interests. More specifically we are interested in how Trypanosomes, Leishmania and Toxoplasma parasites build their cytoskeletons what are the novel, minor but essential, proteins involved in cytoskeleton biogenesis and how can they be targeted and exploited for intervention. We have identified novel proteins (TbBILBO1, TbFPC4, TbFPC3) that are involved in flagellar pocket (FP) an organelle that is essential for exo-endocytosis and are characterizing how these proteins interact to form the annular structure that is the basis of the FP cytoskeleton. We are also working on identification of the components of the basal complex of Toxoplasma and their role in the machineries involved in parasite connection, constriction and cytokinesis.