A unique feature of the research in the Glycosciences Laboratory has been the interactive model of collaborative interdisciplinary research - with a central role for carbohydrate microarrays. Our collaborations with researchers with complementary expertise (chemistry, virology, parasitology, immunology, therapeutics, recombinant protein expression and crystallography) are providing new opportunities for us to apply our ever expanding carbohydrate microarray system to address a range of biological and biomedical questions that would otherwise not be possible. At the same time, there is reciprocal benefit and efficiency for our collaborators many of whom are unfamiliar with or not equipped for carbohydrate studies; this is apparent from our outputs.
As examples, are our collaborative studies with Steve Matthews (Imperial), Dominique Soldati (University of Geneva) and Fiona Tomley (Royal Veterinary School) which have served to direct a new line of research on the host-cell carbohydrate ligands of the adhesive, micronemal proteins of Toxoplasma gondii and other intracellular apicomplexan parasites that are of medical, veterinary and economic importance, providing clues to host and tissue tropisms and pathobiology of infections by these parasites and leading to vaccine designs; also our joint studies with Thilo Stehle (Tubingen) which have led to assignments of host cell receptors for a number human polyoma viruses opening the way to new therapeutic designs.
We also have long-standing collaborations with carbohydrate chemists who provide us invaluable glycan materials for our arrays. The library is enriched by its content of chemically synthesised glycolipids from the Akira Hasegawa, Makoto Kiso and Hideharu Ishida collection.