The El-Sayed Laboratory


Co-expression and Gene Regulatory Networks in Pathogens and Their Host Cells

Our work is providing a massive-scale simultaneous interrogation of the transcriptomes of intracellular protozoan parasites and their host cell. This data allows us to:

  1. Identify the transcriptional networks mediating parasite survival within the host
  2. Construct and contribute a robust and well-annotated collection of host cell infectome signatures to existing molecular signatures databases and collections of gene modules in the immune system

Our characterization of co-expression networks is providing an excellent resource to further our understanding of the function and regulation in these important pathogenic species. In addition to probing the individual host and pathogen co-expression networks, we are searching for evidence of interaction between the host and parasite transcriptomes. This is informing a selection of gene products that may be important for the parasite during invasion and acclimation to the host environment. We are using a selection of candidate genes to disrupt trypanosomatid-host cell interactions through RNAi knock-down or CRISPR-Cas9 knockout experiments in human cells as well as the parasites.