Christopher de Graffenried

Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


My research program is focused on understanding how the trypanosomatid parasites undergo morphogenesis, the process they employ to shape their cells and transmit shape during cell division. This is an important question for two reasons: 1. Trypanosomatids have evolved unique approaches for fundamental cellular processes such as morphogenesis; identifying the molecular mechanisms will provide a better understanding of evolutionary niches, such as parasitism, that arise through diversification of cellular pathways in manners that would be extremely difficult to predict; 2. These pathways represent unique and essential aspects of trypanosomatid biology that could be exploited to develop treatments for a range of neglected tropical diseases that cause significant human suffering in developing countries.