Cell surface signalling: targeting membrane receptor proteins in infectious and genetic diseases

Lead researcher: Professor Gavin Wright, Department of Biology, Hull York Medical School

Extracellular interactions made by cell surface receptor proteins are excellent therapeutic targets because they are directly accessible to systemically delivered drugs such as monoclonal antibodies.

For infectious disease, proteins displayed on the surface of pathogens are good vaccine candidates because vaccine-elicited antibodies can destroy or disable the pathogen.

Professor Wright is interested in the molecular basis of cellular recognition events with a particular focus on parasite-host interactions. To identify extracellular interactions, Wright’s group has developed systematic large-scale protein-based approaches based on detecting direct interactions within libraries of soluble receptor ectodomains. Using these approaches, the laboratory has identified interactions that are essential for basic biological events of fundamental importance, including sperm-egg recognition in mammals, and the invasion of erythrocytes by the blood stage of Plasmodium falciparum - the parasite responsible for most clinical cases of the deadly infectious disease, malaria.

The group's current research aims are to use their protein-based technologies to identify vaccine targets for parasitic diseases and are currently developing vaccines for kinetoplastid parasites such as trypanosomes that affect some of the most disadvantaged people in the world.

Contact us

York Biomedical Research Institute

ybri@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 328845
B/H/002, Department of Biology, Wentworth Way, University of York, York, YO10 5NG
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Contact us

York Biomedical Research Institute

ybri@york.ac.uk
+44 (0)1904 328845
B/H/002, Department of Biology, Wentworth Way, University of York, York, YO10 5NG
Twitter