Leishmania promastigotes with the flagellum membrane (red), and cell body membrane (green)
Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease associated with extreme poverty and conflict. Up to one million new infections occur every year, causing death in 20,000 – 30,000 cases.
Basic research into the parasite's biology is crucial in the global battle to combat the disease. The aim of the project, "Dissecting the role of the Leishmania flagellum in pathogenicity" is to investigate how Leishmania parasites are able to infect and survive inside macrophages and cause disease. The project is using new genome engineering methods to generate a library of 500 mutant cell lines, to interrogate systematically which parts of the parasite's flagellum are required for infection.