Research interests

I started my career investigating the trypanosome life cycle in Professor Keith Matthews lab in Edinburgh. I was studying in the sensory mechanisms that allow trypanosomes to be transmitted between human hosts via tsetse. The sensory molecule responsible turned out to be a transporter expressed on the surface of the 'stumpy', transmission competent stage. I then worked on trypanosome metabolism with Achim Schnaufer. To our surprise, we found that a single point mutation enabled the trypanosome to live without its mitochondrial genome, circumventing an entire class of trypanocidal drugs. I now work with Professor Keith Gull using trypanosomes to study conserved aspects of cell biology, including cellular compartmentalisation and the flagellum transition zone. I also have an ongoing interest in developing molecular tools for trypanosomes. We have improved existing genetic tagging technology so it is scalable to thousands of genes. and we have been awarded a Wellcome Trust grant to provide the localisation of every protein in the trypanosome cell. We are making this data available on our dedicated website TrypTag and via TriTrypDB.

Transition zone

Genetic tools