Dr Katarzyna Modrzynska
This person is a member of Sanger Institute Alumni.
Kasia is working on transcription regulation in Plasmodium and its role in controlling the parasite’s progression through the life cycle. Currently, she investigates the role the predicted transcription factors from apiAP2 family play in the Plasmodium life cycle, in particular in gametocytogenesis and early mosquito development.
Malaria parasites are characterized by a complex life cycle involving many morphologically different forms in various hosts. Each developmental transition is connected with global changes in gene expression, suggesting a key role of transcription control in orchestrating parasite’s development. I am interested in dissecting the parasite’s specific molecular mechanisms controlling this process and explore them for therapeutic purposes.
Currently I am using the genetically tractable malaria model Plasmodium berghei to investigate apiAP2 proteins – a major family of putative transcription factors in the apicomplexa genus. Employing a combination of reverse genetics screens, molecular biology and bioinformatics, I aim at understanding the role they play in parasites development. This work has so far resulted in discovery two key factors controlling the gametocytogenesis in P. berghei.
I am also participating in the development of new molecular tools for conditional gene expression in P. berghei and in adaptation of next generation sequencing technologies to malaria parasites.
In January 2017 I will leave Sanger Institute to join the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology in Glasgow as a Sir Henry Dale fellow. There, I will be investigating the interactions between the key transcription factors and their targets at different stages of the Plasmodium life cycle.