D: Alteration of Networks by Infectious Pathogens
Research area coordinator: Fackler, Oliver
Research area vice coordinator: Bartenschlager, Ralf
Research area D focusses on the alterations of cellular networks induced by other organisms.
We use viral and parasitic pathogens to induce targeted disturbances of networks, with the aim of gaining insight into their functionality and understanding how these disturbances lead to network malfunction and disease. We use a cell biology approach to understand the invading and intracellular trafficking mechanisms of important human pathogens, including the causative agents of AIDS, malaria and chronic liver disease. Our previous important contributions include our strategy for the use of attenuated parasites as a malaria vaccine and the establishment of the first cell culture systems for HCV, instrumental for therapy development. Furthermore, we use pathogens as a central tool to decipher the properties of cellular networks. Unraveling the essential interactions of pathogens with such networks will also lead to the identification of novel therapeutic targets.