Chemistry Department Seminar: Chris de Graffenried ’98

12 January 2021

Chris de Graffenried ’98 (Brown University) presents “How does the parasite Trypanosoma brucei establish and transmit its shape?” on Friday, January 15th, 2021, at 4:30 PM.

Trypanosoma brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis and the livestock disease known as nagana, which both cause significant health and economic burdens in sub-Saharan Africa. Key to survival within hosts is the shape of the parasite, which allows it to move rapidly through crowded, high-viscosity environments such as blood and tissue. This shape comprises a tapered posterior and a narrow, pointed anterior end, generated and maintained by a helical sheath of microtubules (MTs), which underlies the cell surface and is termed the subpellicular array (SPA). Our goal is to establish the molecular mechanisms that drive SPA assembly and maintenance, which will determine how trypanosomes shape their cells. To do this, we are studying a series of MT-associated proteins including MT-crosslinking proteins and molecular motors using cell biological and biophysical approaches. Our research will contribute to a better understanding of the plasticity of MTs and the structures they create in an early branching eukaryote, which is vital to establishing their fundamental properties and potential functions in a broader range of eukaryotes.

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Meeting ID: 970 6262 1266   Passcode: 945583

Dr. de Graffenried is an assistant professor in the department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at Brown University.