An integrative approach towards understanding gene regulation and apthogenesis of the malaria parasite
Dr. Evelien Bunnik
The development of the human malaria parasite P. falciparum through the different stages of its complex life cycle are tightly regulated by changes in gene expression. To better understand the different regulatory mechanisms involved in transcription, Dr. Bunnik's research has focused on the role of chromatin structure in gene regulation, from large-scale changes in the arrangement of chromosomes within the nucleus to small-scale changes on the nucleosome level. In addition, comparing the levels of steady-state mRNA with mRNA that is actively translated revealed that a substantial number of genes undergoes post-transcriptional regulation. Identification of the proteins involved in these regulatory networks could present novel targets for antimalarial therapeutics.