The Pasteur Museum is housed in the apartment where Louis Pasteur spent his final seven years and offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the living and working environment of the world-renowned scientist. Visitors can gain a unique insight into his everyday life alongside his wife and can admire his rich and diverse scientific work.
The Institut Pasteur’s scientific strategy focuses on developing original and innovative topics and promoting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation and approaches. The Institut Pasteur teams have access to the technological resources needed to speed up and further improve the quality of their outstanding research.
Ever since the introduction of the world’s first "Technical Microbiology" course in 1889, teaching has been a priority for the Institut Pasteur. The Institut Pasteur has an international reputation for quality teaching that attracts students from all over the world who come to further their training or top up their degree programs.
Doctoral school affiliation and University: Complexité du vivant ED515
Presentation of the laboratory and its research topics:
Our lab is studying the role and functioning of the trypanosome flagellum, with perspectives in the field of both parasitology and genetic diseases. Indeed, trypanosomes are significant parasites of man and cattle in central Africa and there are currently no efficient vaccines against them. Moreover, trypanosomes are also an excellent model to study human genetic diseases due to defects in cilia and flagella. Our lab is a Pasteur full research unit of about 12 members affiliated to the Department of Parasitology and Mycology and the Department of Cell Biology and Infection. We also belong to a larger CNRS unit (URA2581, headed by Artur Scherf).
Description of the project:
Human African Trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a neglected tropical disease caused by the flagellated protist Trypanosoma brucei. Nagana is a similar disease in cattle due to closely related trypanosome species. The injection of these extra-cellular parasites by the bite of the tsetse fly induces a local inflammatory response. Trypanosomes then apparently transit via the lymphatic system before invading the bloodstream where they proliferate and cause the typical symptoms of the disease. However, very little is known about the early steps of infection, especially the mechanisms of trypanosome differentiation, proliferation and passage to the bloodstream. The first aim of this project is to characterize these early steps of T. brucei development upon natural transmission of a fluorescent strain by a tsetse fly bite using state-of-the-art intravital imaging technologies. Particular attention will be paid to parasite motility, proliferation, morphogenetic modifications and interactions with host cells. The second goal is to establish the importance of the trypanosome flagellum that has been proposed to be a key virulence factor. Functional investigations with conditional knockout parasites will be performed to discover the role of flagellum sensory functions in detection of the environment and activation of the appropriate differentiation programs by targeting two types of proteins, a membrane protein concentrated at the distal tip called FLAM8 and a couple of aquaporin channels of the flagellar pocket. Overall, these studies will result in the first integrated view of the early steps of trypanosome infection and will be crucial to improve early diagnosis and treatment of this disease that is always fatal in the absence of treatment.
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