Prof Maria Yazdanbakhsh

Prof Maria Yazdanbakhsh
Prof Maria Yazdanbakhsh
Leiden University Medical Center

Presentations at BSP Spring Meeting 2018

Tue10  Apr09:00am(30 mins)
Keynote: Helminths and other environmental factors shaping the immune response: consequences

Session: Helminths: Immuno-modulation
Room: Stream 3 - Physics 0.15 Main

Profile of Prof Maria Yazdanbakhsh

Maria Yazdanbakhsh heads the department of Parasitology which uses basic and clinical research and employs an interdisciplinary group of basic and clinical scientists who focus on understanding host-parasite interactions at the molecular, cellular and population level. The knowledge gained is being applied to achieve the Department’s mission of contributing to

1) development of effective vaccines against parasitic diseases and
2) identification of parasite-derived immune modulatory molecules to control hyper-inflammatory diseases

Specifically, genetic modification of malaria parasites, pioneered in Leiden, has allowed advances to be made in malaria vaccine development, translating observations made in models systems into Phase I/II clinical trials. The studies of parasitic helminths have led to in depth characterization of highly specialized glycoconjugates that interact with the human host leading to immune modulation and metabolic change. This knowledge is used not only for helminth vaccine development but also for developing new therapies for hyper inflammatory diseases with focus on asthma and type 2 diabetes. Importantly, there has been solid links with academic centres in countries where parasitic infections are prevalent in rural areas but at the same time are modernising and facing non- communicable diseases. This means that Parasitology department in Leiden participates in the global fight against poverty-related and neglected diseases, and at the same time in the mandate to combat hyperinflammatory diseases.
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