Expression and optimisation of TGF-beta mimics secreted by Heligmosomoides polygyrus

University of Glasgow

Past award

Student: Ian Stephens : University of Glasgow

Year Award Started: 2016

Helminth worms are exceptionally successful parasites and currently infect more than one quarter of the world’s population. It is well known that the worms are able to infect so many people because they have developed mechanisms to effectively suppress the immune system of the people they infect, whilst causing relatively little harm in the way of side effects. Identifying the molecules that the worms secrete to achieve this may lead to new safe and effective medications to treat conditions such as allergy, multiple sclerosis and rejection of transplanted organs. Recent research from the Maizels laboratory has shown that one type of helminth, Heligmosomoides polygyrus, secretes a family of molecules that act on a specific receptor on human immune cells. The purpose of this project is to further investigate these molecules, to see if they all act in the same way, whether some are more effective than others or lead to fewer unwanted side effects.

Research area: Infections, inflammation or immunology


Dr Rick Maizels
Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation