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Trinity College Dublin

Personal Information
College Photo Name Nolan, Derek
Main Department Biochemistry
College Title Associate Professor
E-mail denolan@tcd.ie
College Tel +353 1 896 2455
Web http://people.tcd.ie/denolan
 
Biography
I have worked on African trypanosomes, which cause human sleeping sickness, for twenty years. As a PhD student I investigated the bioenergetics of T. brucei in Paul Voorheis' laboratory at Trinity College Dublin. Subsequently, I moved to Brussels in 1992, as an EMBO fellow, to join the group of Etienne Pays to study the expression and function of surface proteins in trypanosomes. In 1994 I was awarded a Marie Curie fellowship and focused on the problem of endocytosis in trypanosmes. Trypanosomes are absolutely dependent on their hosts for a supply of iron and lipoproteins and this traffic is highly polarized and extremely rapid in bloodstream forms of the parasite. In the summer of 2001 I was awarded a Senior Fellowship by the Trust to characterize proteins from the flagellar pocket and endocytic pathway in African trypanosomes. These parasitic protozoans cause sleeping sickness in humans and related diseases in domestic animals. Human sleeping sickness is invariably fatal unless treated. Of the four drugs currently employed to treat infections, resistance to two has emerged and the drug of choice, suramin, is suitable only in early stages. Trypanosomiasis is also considered one of the greatest health constraint to livestock productivity in sub-Saharan Africa with costs ranging between $2 and $5 billion annually. African trypanosomes are clearly a global health issue and are an enormous medical, veterinary and economic burden on some of the poorest regions on earth. Apart from their utilitarian interest, trypanosomes have proved to have great intrinsic scientific interest. These unicellular eukaryotes have evolved very differently from the better studied organisms, e.g. bacteria, yeast and metazoans, on which the foundations of biology have been built. Some of the most basic cellular and genetic pathways have developed very differently in trypanosomes but other processes first described and characterized in trypanosomes are now known to be important in mammalian cells. From the nucleus to the plasma membrane trypanosomes have provided fascinating insights including unusual genome organisation, pol I transcription of coding genes, expression sites and novel nuclear substructures, RNA editing, mitochondrial repression/activation, compartmentalization of glycolysis, GPI anchors, unusual organisation of surface proteins and the endocytic pathway, polarized cytoskeletons, golgi duplication and many other phenomena. By any criterion, whether biochemical, molecular or cellular, trypanosomes have more than punched their weight in terms of a contribution to our understanding of eukaryotic biology. osomes and returned to Trinity College Dublin at the end of 2001
 
Representations
Details Date
Reviewer for European Journal of Biochemistry; EMBO Journal; Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology; Parasitology Today; J. Cell Science; Molecular Microbiology
Grant reviewer for: [1] - The National Science Foundation, Washington, D.C. 20550, U.S.A. [2] - The Wellcome Trust (UK), FNRS (Belgium), BBSRC (UK)
 
Awards and Honours
Award Date
EMBO long term Fellowship 1992
Marie Curie Fellowship 1994
 
Languages
Language Skill Reading Skill Writing Skill Speaking
English Fluent Fluent Fluent
French Medium Basic Medium
Spanish Basic Basic Basic
 
Description of Research Interests
• Expression and function of surface proteins in protozoan parasites• Endocytosis, protein traffic and flagellar pocket function.• Parasite Bioenergetics • regulation and function of actin cytoskeleton. • Molecular and cell biology of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei. • Vesicular traffic and the actin cytoskeleton in T. brucei.
 
Research Interests
ACIDIC REPETITIVE PROTEIN AFRICAN TRYPANOSOMES BLOOD-STREAM FORMS CELL-SURFACE
CONCANAVALIN-A CROSS-LINKING GPI-ANCHORED PROTEINS LIPOPHILIC CATION
MEMBRANE-POTENTIAL CHANGES MITOGENIC STIMULATION NEURO-BLASTOMA PH GRADIENTS
PHOSPHATIDYLINOSITOL MEMBRANE ANCHOR PLASMA-MEMBRANE PROCYCLIC FORMS PROTON-MOTIVE FORCE
Parasitology SACCHAROMYCES-CEREVISIAE SECONDARY STRUCTURE STREPTOCOCCUS-LACTIS
TRANSFERRIN RECEPTOR
 
Research Projects
Project title Polarity and function of actin in vesicle traffic in African trypanosomes
Summary This SFI funded research programme seeks to understand how the polarity of the actin cytoskeleton is maintained and the role of this cytoskeleton in vesicle traffic (endocytosis/exocytosis) in African tryapanosmes. sorting of proteins within the unique region of the flagellar pocket
Funding Agency SFI
Programme basic
Type of Project
Date from 11/04
Date to 1106
Person Months


Project title Characterization of glycoproteins from the flagellar pocket and endocytic pathway in African trypanosomes: a new paradigm for protein trafficking in a highly polarized cell.
Summary The aim of the project is the identifcation and characterization of proteins from the flagellar pocket and endocytic pathway in African trypanosomes and to investigate the mechanisms for specific sorting and routing of proteins to and fromthe pocket
Funding Agency Wellcome Trust
Programme Senior Fellowship in basic biomedical sciences
Type of Project
Date from 12/01
Date to 12/09
Person Months


 
Publications and Other Research Outputs
Peer Reviewed
Perez-Morga D., Vanhollebeke B., Paturiaux-Hanocq F., Nolan D.P., Lins L., Homble F., Vanhamme L., Tebabi P., Pays A., Poelvoorde P., Jacquet A., Brasseur R., Pays E., Apolipoprotein L-I promotes trypanosome lysis by forming pores in lysosomal membranes, Science, 309, 2005, p469 - 472
TARA - Full Text  DOI
Rubotham, J., Woods, K., Garcia-Salcedo, J.A., Pays, E. and Nolan, D.P., Characterization of two protein disulphide iosmerases from the endocytic pathway of Trypanosoma brucei, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 280, 2005, p10410 - 10418
TARA - Full Text  DOI
García-Salcedo J.A., Perez-Morga, D., Gijón P., Dilbeek, V., Pays, E. and Nolan, D.P., A differential role for actin in the life cycle of T. brucei., EMBO Journal, 25, 2004, p780 - 789
TARA - Full Text  DOI
NOLAN, DP, VOORHEIS, HP, BIOENERGETICS STUDIES OF BLOOD-STREAM FORMS OF TRYPANOSOMA-BRUCEI - ELECTRICAL AND H+ GRADIENTS, BIOCHEMICAL SOCIETY TRANSACTIONS, 18, 1990, p735 - 739
FEBS letters, 244, (1989), 26 - 30p, vvvvv, [eds.]
More Publications and Other Research Outputs >>>
 

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Last Updated:30-AUG-2014