Protein chaperones in protozoan parasites:
We study the protein chaperone Hsp90 from several protozoan parasites. Our goal is to understand its role in adapting the parasites to the variable conditions they encounter throughout their life cycles. Also, we are exploring the potential of this chaperone as a drug target to control protozoan parasites.
Plasmodium falciparum surface antigens:
The malaria parasite evades the host immune system by the successive expression of variable antigens at the surface of the infected red blood cells. We are interested in understanding the implications of this sequence variation at the protein structure level. These antigens also bind to host cell receptors sequestering infected red blood cells from peripheral circulation. Our goal is to explore the mechanisms by which the parasite maximizes antigen diversity maintaining receptor binding.