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Development of malaria parasite with genetically encoded sensors for antimalarial screening and discovery
Portugal (PorMSIC) - University of Minho, Braga
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS) Universidade do Minho Campus de Gualtar 4710-057 Braga Portugal
Pedro Eduardo Ferreira
Pedro Eduardo Ferreira and Maria Isabel Veiga
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Development and establishment of biosensors for the monitoring of essential cellular physiological parameters, as calcium oscillation and/or oxidative stress, has been an important recent contribution for the advance of basic science research. Moreover, detection of cellular homeostasis disturbance by drugs is a crucial assessment for the understanding of their action and underlying mechanisms of action. As a consequence, genetically encoded sensors (GES) which are fluorescent protein based chimeric proteins with sensing capacity, are being applied for basic science research of physiologic cellular mechanisms, drug actions. At present we are establishing and developing such sensors into Plasmodium falciparum in order to deliver novel antimalarial drugs.
What is the aim of the project?
The aim of the project is to develop genetically encoded sensors to Plasmodium falciparum
What techniques and methods are used?
The project will make use of 4 primary techniques: • Specific proteins are cloned for further study through the next techniques; • Genetically encoded sensors are generated by translation of a nucleic acid sequence and incorporation into cells by transfection; • Application of the genetically encoded sensors in the genome of Plasmodium falciparum; • Microscopy techniques in order to see and collect results for analysis.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks of the student will be performed on his/her own
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student is expected to understand the basic principles of cloning, transfection, genetic engineering and microscopy. Depending on the level of understanding of each technique, the student will be able to perform them on his/her own, but still under supervision. He/she is also expected to learn to established protocol and laboratory routines, as well as, fully understand basic concepts of malaria biology and infectiology including life cycle and pathophysiology related to the exoerythrocytic phase and erythrocytic phase.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
Students are intended to participate in some lectures at University of Minho
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a poster - The student will prepare a scientific report - The student’s name will be mentioned in a future publication - The student will have the opportunity to present the results together with the supervisor at a conference
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic knowledge in molecular biology. Previous experience with bacteria manipulation and cultures
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students
- Francis D. Krampa; Yaw Aniweh; Gordon A. Awandare and Prosper Kanyong; Recent Progress in the Development of Diagnostic Tests for Malaria
- Jie Zhang; Michael K Jensen; Jay D Keasling; Development of biosensors and their application in metabolic engineering
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