Research Interests:

      Trypanosoma brucei (形虫) causes African sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle, bringing huge economic burdens to many developing countries that can least afford it (1) .

      As a model system, the single-celled T. brucei is one of the earliest divergent eukaryotic organisms studied in laboratories (Hedges 2002). Genomic databases of T. brucei and related species are complete (2). Development in advanced molecular genetics methods such as inducible expression and RNAi allows rapid characterization of protein functions. Furthermore, T. brucei has a simple cellular anatomy with a single copy of nucleus, mitochondrion, flagellum, and Golgi, suitable for fluorescence microscopic and electron microscopic studies. Duplication and segregation of these organelles take place in a strict temporal and spatial order, allowing rapid and reliable identification of cell cycle stages in an unsynchronized population. Using T. brucei as a model organism, we study the organization of cellular structures and the regulation of their co-ordinated duplication/segregation during cell cycle.


                            cell cycle iimage



The following is a reconstruction of the parasite using EM images.


The following is a video of a procyclic trypanosome taken using a high speed camera.