Héloïse is a 5th year Pharmacy student from the University of Bordeaux specialized in Industry-Research. In parallel to her studies, she completed the Institut Pasteur’s Online Diploma of Infectious Diseases, and developed a strong interest in the study of host-pathogen interactions.
After a first internship in parasitology at Frédéric Bringaud’s lab (Bordeaux) working on the metabolism of Leishmania mexicana, she joined Brice Rotureau’s group for 4 months to work on trypanosomes and sleeping sickness.
The project focuses on the infectivity of stumpy-like forms of trypanosomes in tsetse flies. The cycle of trypanosomes can be divided into two distinct parts corresponding to the parasite developing inside the insect vector (procyclic, mesocyclic, epimastigote, metacyclic) and inside the mammalian host (blood stream forms). Blood stream forms are either slender, more elongated parasites invading the host, or stumpy, which can infect the fly and continue the cycle. The aim of the project is to study the transition from slender to stumpy by targeting possible key regulators of this transition, and to test their effect on infectivity of the flies.