Dr Martin Taylor
Martin's main interest is in the interaction of trypanosomes with the mammalian host, including the acquisition of essential micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals. He is currently investigating iron transport and metabolism in T. brucei and T. cruzi. He is developing methods to look at the way in which these parasites respond when the host immune system triggers its iron sequestration response. Iron is essential to these pathogens and its acquisition is likely to be a target for chemotherapy.
He is involved in the creation of models for drug development in Stage II African trypanosomiasis, Chagas disease and visceral Leishmaniasis. This has involved the engineering of parasite lines expressing very high levels of firefly luciferase. Use of red-shifted luciferase has led to a highly sensitive infection model which is being used to streamline in vivo drug development for these neglected tropical diseases. He has developed a combined bioluminescence/fluorescence model for investigating the pathogenesis and immunology of Chagas disease which allows the investigation of host-parasite interactions within the chronic stage. He is currently extending this system to Leishmaniasis.
Martin has also developed a tetracycline based inducible expression system for T. cruzi which is now being used in several laboratories worldwide.