Infectious disease

Whitehead Institute Member Sebastian Lourido and colleagues identified key parts of the pathway that enables apicomplexan parasites to exit one host cell, and travel to infect others, including the important role of a molecule they called HOOK. This finding illuminates how signals can move in cells and could inform drug development against the parasites.

Climate change and economic development are increasing our risk of being infected by parasites and harmful viruses and bacteria. Whitehead Institute researchers are leveraging their expertise to better assess where pathogens will spread and evaluate their risk to humans.

Whitehead Institute researchers unravel the unique biology of apicomplexans — the parasites responsible for malaria, toxoplasmosis, and other diseases impacting global health.

Our researchers are working to understand the biology underlying infectious diseases and the microbes and viruses behind them, using innovative genetic approaches and  new tools and methods.