From a better understanding of helminth biology to therapeutic target validation : towards a sustainable parasite control


Raymond Building R4-047, 21111 Lakeshore Road, St Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9, CA

You are invited to attend a special seminar hosted by the Institute of Parasitology.

Dr. Thavy Long is currently a Prestige Marie Curie Fellow at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (Toulouse, France). She received her PhD in Parasitology and Cellular Biology in 2010 at the University of Lille 2 where she characterized the Polo-like kinases (Plks) of Schistosoma mansoni and their role in the reproductive organs. In 2012, she joined the McKerrow and Caffrey labs (UC San Francisco, UC San Diego) where her research aimed to identify and validate putative targets for schistosomiasis.

Helminths are important socio-economic organisms, responsible for major parasitic infections in humans and animals. Confirmed resistance recently reported in filarial nematodes to macrocyclic lactones and the existence of a single drug, praziquantel, to treat schistosomiasis urge the search for novel therapies to supplement the current arsenal. By combining reverse genetic and phenotypic screens, Dr Long has shown that Polo-like kinase 1 and phosphodiesterase 4 in S. mansoni are potential drug candidates and identified novel anti-schistosomal chemistries. Understanding the mechanisms of drug resistance is also crucial to guarantee sustainable parasite control and she is currently studying the putative role of nuclear receptors in the development of drug resistance.