Internship Project
Biology and Neuroscience

Inositol Phosphate and Phophoinositide Signaling in Toxoplasma gondii

Institution
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin,
Department of Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences
Subject Area
Molecular Parasitology
Availibility
Summer Term Internship 2022:
09 May – 29 July
07 June – 26 August

Individual Timeframe Internship:
The dates are arranged individually according to the project's and the student's availability.

Internship Modality:
On-site internship in Berlin


Project Supervisor(s)
Dr. Nishith Gupta & Dr. Özlem Günay-Esiyok
Contact: guenayoe@hu-berlin.de

Academic Level
PhD students
Language
English
Further Information
Project Type
Academic Research
Project Content
Toxoplasma is a prevalent intracellular parasite of the protozoan phylum apicomplexa. There is only one single known species of this parasite, namely T. gondii, that is capable of infecting and reproducing in nearly all nucleated cells of a wide range of organisms. 
It has also become an excellent pathogen model to understand the molecular concepts of intracellular parasitism due to relative ease of in vitro culture, amicability to advanced genome engineering, and well-established phenotyping assays. Infection, pathogenesis, and persistence of T. gondii are governed by an array of intersecting signaling cascades including calcium, cyclic nucleotides, lipids, inositol phosphates, and phosphoinositide.
 
Our group aims to understand the importance of these pathways by chemical and genetic modulation of native signaling proteins in T. gondii. A wide range of methods is deployed to generate the parasite mutants, which are then phenotyped to reveal the basis of molecular acute infection (i.e. lytic cycle in mammalian host cells). 
We have also combined conventional methods of genome manipulation and cell biology with light-regulated proteins (optogenetics) to decipher signaling pathways in a reversible and spatiotemporal manner.
Tasks for Interns
Parasite and Host Cell Culture, Molecular Cloning, Genome Engineering (CRISPR/Cas9-assisted), Immuno-fluorescence Assays, Parasite Phenotyping by Biochemical Assays
Academic Level
PhD students
Requirements
Hands-on experience in cell culture, genetic engineering and cell biology methods
Expected Preparation
Comprehensive reading of signaling pathways (state-of-the-art knowledge) in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium (apicomplexan parasites)
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For more information on the Humboldt Internship Program or the project, please contact the program coordinator.