LeishGEM (the Leishmania genetic modification project) will use high throughput genetic tools to understand how Leishmania parasites are such successful pathogens.
This collaborative project will have two genome-wide reverse genetics screens as a foundation, followed up with cutting edge molecular biology, cell biology and data science.
LeishGEM will determine which proteins are needed for Leishmania parasites to progress through their life cycle and survive in their hosts, which stages they’re important for and where they are found in the cell.
This approach will not just find important proteins, it will find the most important proteins. We can then start assembling this knowledge to find the most important pathways for pathogenicity.
The two genome-wide screens which are the LeishGEM foundations will also be community resources: Deletion bar-seq and Leishtag. These will transform our understanding of Leishmania molecular cell biology.
Funded by a Wellcome Trust Collaborative Award
University of Glasgow (UK): Dr Eva Gluenz
University of York (UK): Professor Jeremy Mottram
Oxford Brookes University (UK): Dr Jack Sunter
University of Oxford (UK): Dr Richard Wheeler
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The UK:Brazil Joint Centre Partnership in Leishmaniasis (JCPiL) is a large collaborative project between UK universities (York, Durham and Glasgow) and universities in Brazil (University of São Paulo, University of Rio de Janeiro and Federal University of Piaui).
Researchers within YBRI’s Immunology, Haematology and Infection theme will work together to drive this project forward, and will fund five interrelated projects and three workshops to promote research at the interface of basic and clinical science, extend existing collaborations between UK and Brazil and develop new partnerships and interdisciplinary ways of working.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a spectrum of 20 infectious diseases of the developing world, together affecting over 1 billion of the world’s most deprived people and exerting a greater burden than malaria, tuberculosis and HIV combined. Despite significant gains from public health measures against many NTDs, the battles against the protozoan NTDs, leishmaniasis and Chagas disease, are being lost – with increasing cases and mortality. Better medicines and diagnostic tools are needed; existing drugs are costly to supply and administer, have impractical treatment regimens, and are difficult to deliver to those worst affected, many of whom live in remote areas. Recognising that Chagas disease and leishmaniasis require urgent attention, our Network is responding directly to the need for drug target validation.
Funding for this network finished in July 2022.