Igor Cestari, Ph.D.
Institute of Parasitology, McGill University (website)
Associate Member, Department of Medicine, Division of Experimental Medicine, McGill University (website)
Igor has a BSc. in biology with a specialty in genetics and MSc. and Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology.
Tamara Sternlieb, Ph.D.
Signalling control of telomeric expression site switching in trypanosomes
Tamara obtained Ph.D. in biological sciences in Argentina, working on trypanosomes and signal transduction. She now works on the mechanisms controlling the transcription of telomeric expression sites in T. brucei. Her project focuses on signalling and regulatory proteins involved in VSG expression and switching.
Oksana Kutova, Ph.D.
Chromatin interaction analysis of telomeric expression sites in trypanosomes
Oksana obtained her Ph.D. in Physical and Biomedical Electronics in Kiev working on the development of biosensors. She studies the three-dimensional organization of telomeric expression site chromatin and nuclear compartmentalization in T. brucei.
Mapping TESC interactions using cross-link and mass spectrometry
Tony investigates the composition and topology of the Telomeric Expression Site Complex (TESC) using genetics, mass spectrometry, and microscopy approaches. He also investigates the role of nuclear lamina proteins in telomeric expression sites compartmentalization and VSG expression.
Phosphoinositide signalling and antigenic switching in trypanosomes
Jin investigates phosphoinositide signalling in trypanosomes with a focus on PI3Ks and nuclear signalling. He uses yeast surface display to identify phosphoinositide binding proteins and genetic and biochemical approaches in trypanosomes to dissect the role of phosphoinositide in VSG expression and switching.
Signalling regulation of antigenic variation in trypanosomes
Abdoulie is interested in genetics, mass spectrometry, and single-cell sequencing to study phosphoinositide signalling and the regulatory mechanisms underlying the control of VSG expression and switching in T. brucei.
Identifying vaccine targets for Chagas disease using yeast surface display
Mira works on the discovery of new epitopes for Chagas disease vaccines. She uses yeast surface display to express T. cruzi genome-wide libraries and combines flow cytometry and nanopore sequencing to screen for epitopes recognized by antibodies from patients with Chagas disease. Mira uses experimental approaches to validate new antigens as candidates for a Chagas disease vaccine.
Mechanisms of telomeric expression site activation in trypanosomes
Larsen investigates how phosphoinositide signalling regulates transcription of telomeric expression sites, which is important for T. brucei immune evasion by antigenic variation. He focuses on the proteins that control the monogenic transcription of VSG genes and the expression site compartmentalization.
Protein post-translational modifications in plant-biotic interactions.
Natalie is interested in protein post-translational regulation of enzymes in the jasmonate biosynthesis pathway. Jasmonates are phytohormones involved in plant defence signalling to necrotrophic pathogens and chewing herbivores. She is identifying enzyme post-translational modifications and the responsible kinase and phosphatase enzymes in the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana.
Supervised by Dr. Jacquie Bede, Plant Science
Co-supervised by Dr. Igor Cestari
Luiza Berenguer Antunes
Vaccine targets for Chagas disease
Luiza is working on the Chagas vaccine project. She is performing a yeast surface display screen with a T. cruzi genome-wide library to identify parasite epitopes that are targets of antibodies from patients with Chagas disease to discover vaccine candidates.
T. cruzi drug discovery
Mark works on the development of IPMK inhibitors using peptidomimetics. He is also developing a cDNA overexpression library to screen for drug targets in T. cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas disease. Mark projects involves a collaboration with Dr. Nir Qvit (Israel, medicinal chemist) and Guillermo Alonso (Argentina, parasitologist).