We study the molecular mechanisms that regulate intracellular iron homeostasis in Trypanosoma brucei; a parasite causing "sleeping sickness" in humans and animals. Specifically, we use molecular, biochemical & cellular approaches to dissect and understand how these parasites adapt and survive in an iron-deprived milieu - a critical aspect for understanding host-pathogen relationships.
Iron is an essential micronutrient for all organisms and serves as a regulatory signal for virulence factors in prokaryotic and eukaryotic systems. Its homeostasis is tightly regulated and extensively studied in these systems revealing specific mechanisms in each domain. However, it remains relatively understudied in T. brucei despite its crucial role in pathogenesis.
Our long-term goal is to elucidate the iron-sensing/regulatory network in T. brucei, understand how iron stress signals influence host-pathogen interactions & potentially identify differences in iron-stress response pathways between the mammalian host and trypanosome parasites that can direct future drug design and improve treatment
For more info visit our lab website: Tiengwe Lab