RTG 2046/2: “Parasite Infections: From Experimental Models to Natural Systems” (TP C8)


There is a growing gap in training opportunities in modern parasitology in Germany and beyond. This bottleneck is in clear contrast to the worldwide distribution of parasitic diseases in human and animal populations, with a steady increase due to drug resistance, global warming and increasing international travel. The applying consortium proposes to establish a research training group (RTG) to install a cutting edge and integrative curriculum to educate nextgeneration parasitologists. In an interdisciplinary approach, graduates will be trained in molecular approaches, cellular interactions and organismic studies on key parasites of model organisms, free-ranging animals and humans. While the projects reflect the attractive diversity of the field, the topics focus on four parasite groups: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Giardia and helminths to provide coherence. In accordance with the One Health concept, graduates will be educated by veterinarians, medical doctors and biologists. Thus, the RTG students will study different parasite infections from the biological, medical, and translational perspectives. The key goals are: I) Training for Research: Graduate students will explore innovative concepts, techniques and topics to prepare themselves for a professional career. Their research projects will address up-to-date parasitological topics such as vector biology, modern vaccine development, drug resistance, immune regulation, and impact on wildlife populations. II) Advancement of Fundamental Knowledge: Through the integration of molecular approaches, cellular interactions and organismic studies we will achieve a vertical interdisciplinarity within the RTG. At the molecular level focus will be on the analyses and identification of relevant metabolic peculiarities of parasites. The cellular level will analyze immunological signatures caused by parasite infections. At the organismic level, the influence of parasites on host fitness and population dynamics will be studied. III) Transfer and Translation of Knowledge: According to the One Health concept, we will also provide a horizontal interdisciplinarity within the RTG. By incorporating research projects on veterinary medicine, biological questions and topics relevant for human infections in conjunction with an appropriate teaching program, we will gain an integrated understanding of the relevance of parasite infections for humans and animals. Furthermore, by this approach we aim to provide model cases for translation and application of laboratory-based research.


Principal Investigators
Heitlinger, Emanuel Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Details) (Ecology and Evolution molecularly Parasite-Host-Interactions)

Duration of Project
Start date: 10/2019
End date: 03/2024

Research Areas
Medical Microbiology, Parasitology, Medical Mycology and Hygiene, Molecular Infection Biology

Research Areas
Molekularbiologie

Last updated on 2021-05-05 at 09:13