RTG 2046/2: Parasite Infections: From Experimental Models to Natural Systems


Parasites cause serious, health-depriving, disabling diseases affecting people and animals alike. These pathogens are globally distributed, prevalent, heterogeneous and extremely complex. There is a necessity and growing demand for interdisciplinarily educated, versatile parasitologists. The Research Training Group (RTG) 2046 focuses on four core parasite groups of medical and veterinary importance: Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Giardia and Helminths. The research program emphasizes the study of these parasites in relevant natural hosts and, during the second funding period, focuses on the consequences of co-infections, which are common in natural situations. The research program addresses pressing questions in an exemplary manner on the basis of the focus parasites. These are molecular mechanisms such as drug resistance, parasite intracellular trafficking and intercellular communication crucial for successful habitat formation or metabolic specializations that may lead to new druggable pathways. In addition, cellular aspects are in focus that represent the basis of host immunity and disease pathology and will expand the knowledge base for vaccine development. And finally, organismic aspects are studied to assess parasites’ impact on host populations and their lifetime performance that will generate basic insights into parasite-host ecological relationships. These research topics are part and parcel of the educational concept of RTG 2046 and are essential for training a new generation of parasitologists. The primary training goal is to foster scientists who possess state of the art command of speciality research skills, insightful knowledge of the breadth of parasitology and are well versed in interdisciplinary approaches. This will be achieved by integrating molecular and cellular aspects with organismic perspectives on our four core parasite groups through the research program and the doctoral researchers attending bespoke courses and workshops. Content-related education will be complemented by comprehensive training in soft and transferable skills offered by the local universities’ overarching graduate schools. Equipping next-generation parasitologists with the skills necessary to undertake advanced scientific studies of parasite infections in experimental as well as natural systems is the basic mission of RTG 2046.


Principal Investigators
Matuschewski, Kai Prof. Dr. (Details) (Molecular Parasitology II)

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

Research Areas
Microbiology, Virology and Immunology, Zoology

Last updated on 2021-22-07 at 13:07