• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Project 1: Protein kinases as potential drug targets against leishmaniasis<br/>Project 2: Protein kinases as regulators in flagellum formation and maintenance

Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined the University in 2007 and I’m currently a John Anderson Research Senior Lecturer in Molecular Parasitology and Biochemistry. I mainly teach Biochemistry to undergraduate and postgraduate students. I am involving students in current research projects to provide them with state-of-the-art methods and technologies. This allows them to make an informed decision on their future careers and provides them with appropriate background knowledge to aid them in their personal development. In my research I am investigating Leishmania protein kinases as potential drug targets to cure leishmaniasis and as crucial regulators in flagellum formation and maintenance.
As the Leader of the Infection, Immunity and Microbiology Research Group from 2011-2014 I was involved in the general organisation of SIPBS.

The following topics are currently available in my group to do a PhD (subject to funding):

“Signalling pathways in Leishmania – drug targets to treat human leishmaniasis”

“Using genetic analysis to decipher flagellum formation and maintenance in Leishmania

“Molecular genetic analysis of Leishmania to identify protein kinase drug targets”

“Kinesins and kinases – protein interaction and phenotypic analysis of genetically modified Leishmania parasites”



Research Interests

My research focuses on Leishmania protein kinases as potential drug targets and as important regulators for flagellum maintenance. Leishmania is a protozoan parasite that can cause death in infected humans and animals. Protein kinases have been shown to be essential for survival of this parasite in the infected host. Hence, specific inhibitors for parasite protein kinases have the potential to be ideal drugs to treat leishmaniasis. On the other hand Leishmania has a single flagellum containing structures conserved in all organisms forming cilia or flagella including humans. Understanding how flagellum formation and maintenance is regulated in Leishmania will help to understand and cure human disorders affecting the function of cilia and flagella. I am using phosphoproteomics, molecular parasitology and protein biochemistry to identify relevant protein kinases, their activators and substrates. This will allow me to develop enzyme assays to screen for inhibitors of the target protein kinases, which can be developed into useful medicines.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • signal transduction
  • protein kinases
  • Leishmania cell biology
  • recombinant protein production
  • protein biochemistry

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor rerum naturalium, The secreted acid phosphatase of Leishmania mexicana - molecular characterisation of a polymeric enzyme, University of Tuebingen

Award Date: 1 Jan 1995


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