Helminth parasites live inside host plants and animals for a long time, seemingly untouchable by the immune system of the host.
Inside their host these parasites bring about amazingly complex transformations in host cells. These transformed host cells are so fundamentally different from normal cells that all alarm bells alerting for intruders in the host should go off. This doesn’t happen though as the parasites release molecules to suppress and/or evade host innate immunity. We want to develop molecular and cellular assays a) to determine whether proteins secreted by parasites indeed suppress innate immunity of the host, and b) to understand the molecular mechanism of immune suppression. The project will make use of cell death assays, proteomics, transcriptomics, gene silencing and overexpression analyses.