Unraveling excystation in Giardia lablia

Unraveling excystation in Giardia lablia

Project details

Giardia lamblia is a common water-borne pathogen found all over the world. It forms resilient cysts that persist in the environment for a long time, thanks to a durable coating composed of polysaccharide and proteins (Chatterjee PLoS Pathog. 2010 Aug 19;6(8):e1001059). Once a cyst has been ingested and it has passed through the stomach, the parasite carefully disassembles its protective cyst wall so that it can establish an infection within the small intestine.

This project will unravel how Giardia disassembles its protective cyst wall – a fascinating aspect of parasite biology that could inspire the development of new vaccines and prophylactic drugs to block transmission of giardiasis. The successful applicant will develop skills in protein expression and purification, enzymology, molecular biology and proteomics.


Protein structure of enzume
Predicted structure of a Giardia cyst-wall processing enzyme


About our research group

The Goddard-Borger lab studies the glycobiology of human diseases. 

We are an interdisciplinary group, using techniques in chemical, molecular and cell biology to elucidate the roles of glycoproteins, proteoglycans and glycolipids in the development and progression of diseases as diverse as cancer, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases and malaria

The lab is comprised of both chemists and biologists, who work close together to enhance each other’s research. It is an ideal fit for anyone interested in doing truly interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences.

A notable recent publication from the lab is: Nature Chemical Biology, 2016, 12, 215.



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