The Wheeler Lab is primarily researching how the highly motile single cell eukaryotic parasites which cause leishmaniasis (Leishmania species) and sleeping sickness (African trypanosomes) control their swimming and how this contributes to progression through their life cycles.
Research in this group exploits high content automated analysis of large data sets from light and electron microscopy, supported by mathematical modelling, to analyse how flagellum structure and cell shape contribute to cell swimming behaviours, how the cell generates these precisely defined structures and why parasites adapt their swimming to the different host and vector environments they encounter through their life cycles.
Much of this work also speaks to general questions regarding cell motility and flagellum function, including how defects in flagella cause human genetic disease - ciliopathies.
Supporting this work, Richard Wheeler co-manages the TrypTag.org data set a project which has determined the sub-cellular localisation of every trypanosome protein. Protein localisation within the highly structured trypanosome cells is informative for function and is a major new cell biology and parasitology resource while also supporting research in his group.
Genome sequence of Leishmania mexicana MNYC/BZ/62/M379 expressing Cas9 and T7 RNA polymerase
Beneke T. et al, (2022), Wellcome Open Research, 7, 294 - 294
Subcellular protein localisation ofTrypanosoma bruceibloodstream form-upregulated proteins maps stage-specific adaptations
Halliday C. et al, (2022)
Nucleolar targeting in an early-branching eukaryote suggests a general mechanism for ribosome protein sorting.
Jeilani M. et al, (2022), Journal of cell science
Stage-specific transcription activator ESB1 regulates monoallelic antigen expression in Trypanosoma brucei.
López-Escobar L. et al, (2022), Nat Microbiol
Cellular electron tomography of the apical complex in the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella shows a highly organised gateway for regulated secretion
Burrell A. et al, (2022), PLOS Pathogens, 18, e1010666 - e1010666