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Leishmania: Master or Bachelor Thesis in unit 16

Leishmania spp. are a group of medically important intracellular protozoan parasites species that are transmitted as flagellated extracellular promastigotes by blood sucking insect vectors to vertebrate hosts. Host phagocytes such as macrophages engulf the parasites which are able to survive and replicate as amastigotes (the form without flagellum) intracellularly in the parasitophorous vacuole, a compartment that is classified as an early lysosome late endosome and that is characterized by a harsh environment.

Our group is interested in understanding the mechanisms that enable intracellular life of Leishmania parasites. In particular we want to know more about the constituents of pathogen-containing compartments and which physiological conditions are found in these compartments that could inhibit pathogen replication. Moreover, we aim to find out which interactions and vesicular trafficking events occur between the parasitophorous vacuole and other compartments of the infected cell and how these interactions are regulated.

In order to expand our knowledge about these topics we offer a variety of projects for students for both master and bachelor thesis.

The candidates will first receive general instructions on cell culture and especially in working with parasites and mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages. Then, the candidates will get the opportunity to learn several standard methods in biochemistry and molecular biology. If required, microscopic techniques such as fluorescence and confocal laser scanning microscope for experiments with fixed and living cells will be employed as well.

We are looking for candidates who are highly interested to actively participate in the progress of the project, a process that requires the development of new strategies as well as the optimization of existing protocols. In addition, the candidates should demonstrate effective organizational skills, which are fundamental attributes to work independently and regularly present the results in group meetings.

Applications and further inquiries should be directed to:

Dr. Geo Semini
FG 16 Mycotic and Parasitic Agents and Mycobacteria
Email: contact
Phone: 030 18754 2102

Date: 07.02.2017