Division of Biology and Medicine
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology

Christopher de Graffenried

Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology


We study the replication of the cytoskeleton in T. brucei, the causative agent of African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness) in humans. We have shown that the Polo-like kinase homolog in T. brucei (TbPLK) is essential for the inheritance of the parasite's single flagellum, which is necessary for motility and viability.  We focus on understanding how TbPLK affects flagellar inheritance by regulating the duplication and segregation of a suite of cytoskeletal organelles that position the flagellum.