Dr Sarah K Buddenborg
I joined the Parasite Genomics group as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 2018 to perform computational and experimental analyses on the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni. My interests and experience include general parasitology, invertebrate immunology, NTDs, host-parasite interactions, parasite symbionts (hyperparasites), and disease vectors.
My first role was to finish the assembly and annotation of the Schistosoma mansoni genome. This project involved a fine-scale and specialized look at the sex chromosomes of schistosomes. Schistosomes are unique among platyhelminths (parasitic flatworms) in that they are dioecious (separate males and females) and dimorphic (two distinct forms) with chromosomal sex determination. I am performing functional genomics experiments on the coding and non-coding regions of the schistosome sex chromosomes to determine the mechanism of sex determination and how it can be manipulated to reduce/eliminate disease burden in this genus of trematodes responsible for the neglected tropical disease, schistosomiasis.