PlasmoSense - Deciphering Environmental Sensing in Malaria Parasites
The Malaria Host Interactions Unit (MHIU) is studying the molecular interface between malaria parasites and their human host. Recent findings revealed the existence of intimate links between parasite metabolism, gene regulation and the host environment. It has become evident that intra-erythrocytic Plasmodium falciparum parasites are able to sense nutritional cues and adapt to changes in their vicinity by inducing specific transcriptional responses. This capability is surprising in light of the fact that malaria parasites have lost canonical nutrient sensing pathways present in other eukaryotic organisms.
With the PlasmoSense project, we aim at identifying and characterising the molecular players and mechanisms that facilitate environmental sensing in P. falciparum. Further, it is the explicit ambition of our group to translate knowledge gained from basic research into applied approaches where needed.