Toxoplasma gondii is responsible for toxoplasmosis, a disease which can be fatal for the fetus of infected mothers and for immunocompromised patients. This parasite belongs to the Apicomplexa family which contains other parasites of medical importance such as Plasmodium (responsible for malaria) or Cryptosporidium (cryptosporidiosis). The pathogenicity of these parasites is based on their ability to divide in order to proliferate in the organism. They have therefore invented simplified division patterns in order to multiply efficiently and quickly while producing a large number of parasites. The mechanisms allowing the control and coordination of these modes of division are therefore essential to their ability to proliferate and therefore to the survival of these parasites in humans. We aim to expand our understanding on how these parasites are able to evolve flexible modes of division allowing them to proliferate in a large number of different organisms. We study the proteins that control and coordinate the division of these parasites, using T. gondii as a model Apicomplexa. We are particularly interested in centrosome proteins that orchestrate the cell cycle. These studies could lead us to better understand the mechanisms of division in this family of parasites in order to develop new molecules aiming at controlling their proliferation.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual holding a PhD in biochemistry, molecular parasitology or a related field to explore the biological role of centrosome proteins of unknown function. We will use genetic modification of the parasite genome to produce mutants. We will explore the phenotype of these mutants using cutting-edge microscopy techniques. We will also use biochemistry to purify the centrosomal protein complexes. This is a collaborative project with Maria Francia (Institut Pasteur de Montevideo) and Philippe Bastin (Institut Pasteur de Paris).
Our lab is located at the Institut Pasteur de Lille that has state-of-the-art proteomic and microscopy facilities. Lille is a vibrant city located in the north of France and in the heart of Europe (1hr from London or Brussels).
The position is funded for two years.
Please send an email to mathieu.gissotpasteur-lillefr for further details.
To apply for this position, send a cover letter, a CV and the name of three referees to mathieu.gissotpasteur-lillefr