"The research objectives of this proposal are to functionally describe nuclear skeleton proteins of the important human parasite Trypanosoma brucei. Recent data, many of which come from the proposed host laboratory, have revealed two novel protein components of the nuclear envelope (NE) that seem to have similar function as lamins in metazoans. The applicant will attempt to explore the exact role of these proteins in epigenetic regulation of developmentally controlled genes (such as those encoding the coat antigens), nuclear architecture and chromatin organization. For this purpose, specific interactions of these proteins with chromatin, their phosphorylation status and its control as well as their 3D structure will be investigated. Parallel to this line of work, the applicant will also use various computational tools to search the available NE proteome for functional homologues of other nuclear skeleton components known in metazoans. The research is expected to yield important clues in the understanding of eukaryotic evolution and importantly also in the fight with trypanosomes and other closely related parasites such as Leishmania.
The training objectives of this project are to further develop the candidate's already extensive knowledge of laboratory techniques and bioinformatics. Work on this project will especially enhance the applicant's computational biology, proteomics, imaging, and protein functional characterization skills. The multidisciplinary and highly collaborative nature of this project promises to greatly enhance the competences of the candidate going forward. The host laboratory and collaborators can provide all the facilities required and a strong training in molecular and cell biology. The newly acquired skills and experience will help the applicant to develop a role as a leading expert on molecular evolution and molecular/cell biology of important human parasites and will make a significant contribution to his future career prospects."
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