Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Musa Hassan

Chancellor's Fellow

Profile photo

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseMolecular Biology, Molecular Parasitology, Host-Pathogen Interactions, Computational Biology, Toxoplasma gondii

Biography

Chancellors' Fellow

Post-doc. MIT & Glasgow University

Genetic analysis of innate immunity to Toxoplasma and Francisella

PhD. University College Dublin

The immunogenetics of ovine gastrointestinal nematode resistance.

MRes. University of Nairobi.

The effect of serum lipid levels on the survival of three mouse strains following Trypanosoma congolense infection

BSc. Chemistry & Biochemistry (First Class). University of Nairobi

Current Research Interests

 

 

 

 

 

 

My lab aims to unravel the fundamental molecular and cellular processes that underpin infectious disease pathogenesis and pathogen virulence. Long-term, our research will improve human and animal health by enabling the rational design of novel vaccines, drug and, diagnostics, which are urgently needed to combat novel pathogens with increased virulence and antimicrobial resistance. 

Four foundations are central to achieving our research aim:

1. Fundamental questions in infectious disease biology

With an emphasis on the innate immune system and apicomplexan parasites (Toxoplasma, Neospora, and Theileria), we address three key questions in infection biology:

1. How are immune responses against pathogens initiated, maintained, and subverted?

2. Why does the immune response and susceptibility to infectious disease vary across individuals?

3. How do pathogens regulate their virulence strategies to optimize pathogenicity in the host?

 

2. Data and resources

To answer these questions, we are leveraging advances in molecular biology (single cell RNA-seq, dual RNA-seq, Ribo-seq, CRISPR/Cas9 etc) to generate and make available:

1. Multi-dimensional and time-resolved phenotypic data.

2. Disease-relevant cell lines and reagents.

3. Genetically engineered pathogens for investigating different aspects of infection biology.

 

3. Data analysis and integration

We are using general and bespoke computational approaches to explore our data and other publicly available datasets for genetic variants, genes, molecular pathways and, cell types with regulatory effect on disease pathogenesis.  

 

4. Translation:

We are functionally validating putative disease-causal candidates from our studies for potential translational application. Through collaborations, we are adapting our unbiased strategies to study other pathogens (viruses and bacteria) and understanding the molecular features of protective livestock vaccines.

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