A century of human African trypanosomiasis drugs
Martin Zoltner has been at the Division of Biological Chemistry & Drug Discovery of the University of Dundee since 2007. He graduated from the University of Bochum, Germany, in Biochemistry and obtained a PhD degree from the European Graduate College 795 program conducting research on bacterial membrane proteins at the Department of Biophysics of the University of Bochum and the Department of Molecular Microbiology of the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. After a year as postdoctoral fellow pursuing diagnostic assay development at the University G. d’Annunzio, Italy, he moved to Dundee to pioneer the structural characterisation of the newly discovered Type VII secretion system of grampositive bacteria, a major virulence determinant in S. aureus and M. tuberculosis.
Martin Zoltner‘s current research in Dundee with Mark Field focusses on Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African trypanosomaiasis and he is engaged in collaborative studies in the molecular mode of action of trypanocidal and antimalarial drugs. He investigates the mechanism of drug uptake via endocytosis and in this context has discovered ubiquitylation pathways moderating the surface proteome of T. brucei.
In his talk Martin will present recent discoveries of the complex mode of action of the very new benzoxaboroles drug series and the very old trypanocidal drug suramin, tackled by a systemic approach combining a high-throughput forward genetic screen with function-group focused chemical biological, proteomics, structure biological and biochemical analyses. He will discuss how the observed unique uptake and targeting mechanisms for these compounds can be exploited for novel drug delivery strategies.