Imaging the life and death of filarial parasites

Imaging the life and death of filarial parasites

Project description

The student will exploit new transgenic tools to introduce mobile genetic elements encoding fluorescent and luminescent proteins into the genome of the filarial parasite Brugia malayi. The growth, survival and progeny of successful transfections will be evaluated in both in vitro culture systems and in vivo. In tandem, the student will trial non-transgenic, transient labelling of B. malayi and other medical or veterinary important filariaeusing fluorescent protein-labelling dyes and SuperParamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles (SPION). 

Successful labelling approaches will be piloted to track blood or lymphatic filarial infections using whole animal intravital bioimaging technology platforms (optical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging) in collaboration with MRC/UKRMP Centre for Preclinical Imaging, University of Liverpool.   The studentship goal will be to visualise parasite motility, tissue migration and parasite fate post-therapeutic treatments for drug or vaccine development applications.


Where does the project lie on the Translational Pathway?

  • T1 (Basic Research)

Expected Outputs

  • Authorship of major research articles detailing the application of the technologies for drug and/or vaccine development applications
  • Proof-of-concept of technology application for onward grant funding

Training Opportunities

  • Biostatistics
  • Molecular parasitology
  • Molecular and cellular immunology

Some prior experience of molecular biology and/or whole animal physiology would be beneficial but not essential