Medical Parasitology & Infection Biology

The Department of Medical Parasitology / Infection Biology performs research on host-parasite interactions from the molecular and cellular to the population level. We aim to contribute to infectious diseases control by contributing to the understanding of infection processes and by developing new vaccines, improving diagnostics and screening for new drugs. Laboratory research is complemented with field work in close collaboration with colleagues in disease endemic countries. Our main research focus is on malaria, African trypanosomiasis, Buruli ulcer and bacterial meningitis.

Linking molecular biological and immunological approaches to epidemiological studies enables us to explore pathogenesis, virulence mechanisms, host immunity and transmission in detail. By genotyping pathogens, we analyse the dynamics of infection and transmission and generate data on multiplicity of infection and immune evasion. This allows us to measure the effects of interventions such as vaccination or drug treatment.

In vaccinology we evaluate new candidate antigens and new antigen delivery systems and develop new approaches for rational vaccine design by applying strategies that use iterative cycles of optimization.

In parasite chemotherapy our work is focussed on drug discovery and development for parasitic diseases, mainly malaria, human African trypanosomiasis, and helminthiasis.