I have a broad interest in tropical diseases, particularly in parasites that infect humans. I am mainly focused on those parasites that fall into the ‘neglected tropical diseases’ category. I primarily approach the topic from a molecular perspective, investigating the proteomics involved in infection.
Funding: Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholarship
My PhD focuses on the roundworm Ascaris, which infects 800 million people every year. The parasite mainly affects communities in low socio-economic settings with inadequate sanitary facilities. Within a population, some people are disproportionately infected, with some people getting heavy worm burdens and other people only being mildly infected. Those who experience heavy infections are at a higher risk of severe symptoms, including mortality. In this project we are trying to investigate why there is such a difference in infection. Prof. Holland and her group have previously been able to narrow the search down to the liver, an early part of the life cycle of the parasite. By focussing on the proteins that are produced in the liver during infection, we hope to identify key differences between heavily and lightly infected individuals.
Deslyper G, Colgan TJ, Cooper AJ, Holland CV, Carolan JC. A Proteomic Investigation of Hepatic Resistance to Ascaris in a Murine Model. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016;10(8):e0004837. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004837. PubMed PMID: 27490109. Google Scholar access to paper here.