We are studying the host-pathogen interactions of an intestinal parasite, Cryptosporidium, in order to find new avenues for treatment and prevention of disease.
Cryptosporidium (‘crypto’) is a major cause of diarrhoeal disease in children around the world. While acute infections can be fatal, even mild cases of crypto have the possibility for long-lasting consequences.
Early life infections are a known risk factor for childhood malnutrition, leading to stunted growth and impaired cognitive development. Despite this serious impact on public health, there are no effective treatments or vaccines and the knowledge base to drive their development is lacking.
Our lab uses a combination of genetic screens and molecular tools to explore host-pathogen interactions and expand this knowledge base. Cryptosporidium has historically been a very difficult parasite to study, but with recent advances in disease models and CRISPR-based genomic editing, we are now able to investigate the mechanisms that drive virulence and immunity.