An evolutionary cell biology perspective to understanding protistan pathogens of humans

with Ross Waller, PhD, University of Cambridge
1:00 - 1:30 pm

Eukaryotic pathogens of humans and animals are diverse with most separated by over a billion years of evolution from classically studied cells such as yeasts and human cells. This limits the inferences that can be made of the biology of pathogens from these model systems. The Waller Lab leverages systems biology approaches and an evolutionary perspective to interpret the molecular mechanisms of the evoluiontarily diverse cells that act as human and animal pathogens. In particular we study the molecular mechanisms of host invasion and drug avoidance of apicomplexan pathogens including the malarial agent Plasmodium and Toxoplasma

Dr. Ross Waller completed a PhD in 2000 at the University of Melbourne working on the newly discovered remnant plastid in apicomplexan parasites. He undertook postdoctoral training from 2000-3 as a Peter Doherty Fellow working on Leishmania cell biology (University of Melbourne), and then from 2003-5 as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research working on molecular evolution in diverse eukaryotes at the University of British Columbia. In 2005 he joined the faculty of the School of Botany, University of Melbourne, and in 2013 relocated his laboratory to the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge.