Laboratory of Molecular Parasitology
Prof. Dr. Boshart
The laboratory studies evolutionary divergent signaling mechanisms with a focus on (1) control of life cycle differentiation in parasitic pathogens (2) the functional evolution of signaling proteins. Trypanosomes are unicellular eukaryotic parasites transmitted by a blood feeding insect, the Tsetse. They cause sleeping sickness in humans in tropical Africa. To survive the rapidly changing host environments, many cellular functions of the parasite, including cell cycle control, surface protein expression and metabolism have to be adapted in a tightly coordinated fashion. A PKA-related kinase has been identified as a key player in these processes. Current research centers around this protein kinase, environmental sensing, protein phosphorylation networks, and downstream metabolic regulation. Methods include reverse genetics, biochemistry, phosphoproteomics and advanced imaging.