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home > ebr > summer 2004 > functional genomics in trypanosomes: using rna interference to assign gene function and validate drug targets in tropical disease agents
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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Functional Genomics in Trypanosomes: Using RNA Interference to Assign Gene Function and Validate Drug Targets in Tropical Disease Agents

The World Health Organization has designated many tropical protozoan pathogens as high priority re-emergent disease agents. Asymmetric funding - many of these pathogens affect citizens of countries with low or no economic wealth - has meant that the development of new therapeutics is slow or non-existent. For researchers interested in Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of human African sleeping sickness, a combination of renewed interest, completion of the genome project and RNA interference technology may herald a new period of advance in both therapeutic development and understanding of basic biology. Can the research community deliver?

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By Dr Mark C Field, Department of Biological Sciences at Imperial College, London, and Dr Mark Carrington, Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge, UK

Dr Mark C Field is at the Department of Biological Sciences, Imperial College. He was educated at Oxford Univeristy and completed his doctoral work there at the Glycobiology Institute on glyoprotein structure and function. His postdoctoral career began in the US where he started to work on trypanosomatids at the Rockefeller and Stanford Universities, as well as a short period at Genentech Inc. In 1994, he established his own research group at Imperial College, London, which focuses on the molecular cell biology of Trypanosoma brucei.


Dr Mark Carrington is at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge, obtaining his PhD in Plant Molecular Biology. He has worked on trypanosomes since the start of his postdoctoral career and has extensive experience in the study of protein structure and RNA processing, and is interested in the development of therapeutics based on surface proteins and on host-resistance mechanisms.

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Dr Mark C Field
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Dr Mark Carrington
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