Investigating microbial natural products with anti-protozoal activity

Investigating microbial natural products with anti-protozoal activity

Project details

Protozoan parasites infect billions of people worldwide. New chemotherapeutics (drugs) for these protozoa are urgently required, with limited current drugs available and driving increases in drug resistance.

Natural product compounds from microbes have provided many highly successful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-parasitic treatments. These microbial communities produce bioactive natural products to out-compete other microbes, including protozoa.

Partnering with the Australian biotechnology partner, BioAustralis, this project will use high-throughput drug-screening of large natural product compound libraries and further define the chemistry and activity of novel, anti-protozoal compound classes. Opportunities exist to learn unique natural product chemistry, parasite drug assays and advanced microbiology culture techniques. Further, this project will involve systems biology approaches (including proteomics and transcriptomics) to explore how these compounds target and kill parasites.

About our research group

The Jex lab uses advanced sequencing technologies to dissect biology of human parasites at a molecular level. The Jex Lab currently works on protozoa including Plasmodium (malaria), Trichomonas (sexually-transmitted infection), Crytosporidium (diarrheal disease) and particularly Giardia duodenalis (diarrheal disease). The Jex Lab has ongoing Giardia culture for selection of drug resistance, in vitro inducible stress models, and cultures modelling Giardia life cycles. The material generated through these culture systems is sequenced, with lab expertise including quantitative proteomics, transcriptomics and genomics.

Microbial Screening Technologies (BioAustralis) is an Australian biotechnology company specialising in natural product chemistry. Housing a microbe collection over 400,000, MST is a global producer of rare, novel and chemically diverse microbial natural products, with access and expertise for microbial ecology, metabolism and chemistry.


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Population Health and Immunity division
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Microbial Screening Technologies

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