RNA-PT – RNA processing and translation in pathogens and hosts

The team study the translation, processing and maturation of the messenger RNA in eukaryotic pathogens (kinetoplastids and nematodes) and relevant model organisms (Caenorhabditis elegans and yeast), and their hosts (mammals and plants). The aim of our work is to unravel structural and functional peculiarities in the pathogens’ cytosolic and mitochondrial translation-related machineries compared to their hosts’ counterparts. We apply a variety of biochemical, genetic, molecular and structural biology methods and techniques to characterize the structures and functions of molecular machines related to mRNA translation (cytosolic and mitochondrial ribosomes and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases), processing and maturation (5’ trans-splicing, 3’ polyadenylation). Characterizing pathogen-specific peculiarities in such essential molecular machines could offer new highly specific targets for the development of safer and more efficient therapeutic strategies to fight against a plethora of life-threatening eukaryotic pathogens.


  • Cytosolic mRNA translation in protozoa and mammalian hosts (focus on translation initiation)
  • Mitochondrial mRNA translation (mitoribosomes structures of kinetoplastids and plants)
  • Human and Kinetoplastids’ aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase
  • mRNA 3′-end maturation and editing in kinetoplastids and yeast (polyadenylation)
  • Maturation of the mRNA 5′-end in kinetoplastids and nematodes (trans-splicing)


  • Structural biology (cryo-electron microscopy)
  • Molecular biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Transcriptomics