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Master Thesis Project

Exploitable biochemical pathways in Balamuthia mandrillaris

Balamuthia mandrillaris amoebic encephalitis is a rare but extraordinarily lethal disease. Means of rational therapy and a basic understanding of the infection biology of this ubiquitous opportunistic amoeba are still limited. Our progress in de novo sequencing of the B. mandrillaris genome now gives us a tool for a better understanding of basic biochemical functions and an opening for future research into infection prevention and therapy.

Building on already acquired genome and transcriptome sequencing data and KEGG pathway database search, the task of this Master thesis is to predict basic metabolic pathways and to prove their biological functionality with selective and specific biochemical tests. While the focus lies on analytical cell – specifically enzyme – biochemistry, the project is part of a team effort with bioinformatic and sequencing specialists aiming for a better understanding of the environmental and infectious potential of this pathogen.

Project start: Mai 2014 (or later)

Prerequisite: Practical experience in biochemistry and curiosity for exotic pathogens.

Project advisor: Dr. Albrecht F. Kiderlen, Robert Koch Institute, Unit for Mycotic, Parasitic and Mycobacterial infection (FG16), Berlin

Contact: Albrecht Kiderlen

Date: 15.04.2014