Dr Samantha Emery - Population Health division

Dr Samantha Emery - Population Health division

Location: 
Davis Auditorium
Start Time: 
Mon, 15/04/2019 - 12:00pm
End Time: 
Mon, 15/04/2019 - 1:00pm

Life’s a stage transition: the complex lives of gastrointestinal parasites

Postgraduate lecture series hosted by Dr Anna Coussens

Gastrointestinal parasites, including protozoa and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), cause debilitating gastrointestinal diseases worldwide, particularly in young children. These parasites have complex, multi-stage life cycles, including transitioning through host tissues, the environment, and intermediate hosts to complete a single infection cycle. Despite a multitude of hostile immunological, physiological and ecological factors facing parasites during transition from one host to its next, these gastrointestinal parasites are highly successful and globally prevalent with billions of people infected.  Understanding how life-stage transitions in parasites are regulated is crucial for effective diagnostics, treatment intervention, and new chemotherapeutics. Furthermore, research has revealed multiple mechanisms of host immunomodulation by gastrointestinal parasites designed to circumvent immune clearance and increase the likelihood of life cycle transition or completion. In particular this seminar will describe competitive host-parasite crosstalk between the protozoan Giardia and the gut microenvironment, as Giardia rapidly deploys molecular strategies towards disrupting immune intervention, with the microbiome as unfortunate collateral.

Samantha received a Bachelor of Advanced Biology (Hons) from Macquarie University in 2010 and completed her PhD in proteomics and parasitology at Macquarie University with a Vice-Chancellor’s commendation in 2016. Since then, Samantha has undertaken post-doctoral research in the Jex laboratory in the Population Health division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, and in late 2016 was recipient of a Jack Brockhoff Early Career Fellowship.