Boris Striepen, PhD
Professor of Microbiology
Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany, 1995.
Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Germany, 1995.
Description of Research ExpertiseWe study the cell and molecular biology of parasites and how they interact with their mammalian host.
In recent years we have focused on the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium, a distant cousin to the parasite that cause malaria. Cryptosporidium is an important pathogen for which neither prophylaxis nor effective treatment are available. Cryptosporidium was first recognized in the 1980s as an AIDS-defining opportunistic infection, however, immunocompetent individuals are susceptible, and today Cryptosporidium accounts for 50% of all U.S. waterborne disease outbreaks.
Most recently, Cryptosporidium was identified as a leading cause of diarrheal disease and death in infants. Beyond acute disease, asymptomatic cryptosporidiosis causes stunting and environmental enteropathy with lasting impact on the development and health of children. Malnutrition and cryptosporidiosis are intimately linked. Cryptosporidium has long been difficult to study, but a series of recent advances has made the organism and the disease tractable. We developed genetic manipulation of the parasite and mouse infection models which has opened this important pathogen to sophisticated mechanistic studies.
Currently our research is exploring three areas of Cryptosporidium biology: 1) how does the parasite invade and manipulate the intestinal epithelial cells in which it develops, 2) how does the sexual part of the parasite’s lifecycle unfold and 3) how does the host immune system recognize and restrict Cryptosporidium infection?
Trainees in the lab use a broad range of modern approaches including single cell sequencing, super-resolution and live-cell microscopy, genetic engineering, flow cytometry, cryo-electron tomography and a variety of cell, organoid and animal model systems.
Selected PublicationsGuérin, A., Roy, N. H., Kugler, E. M., Berry-Sterkers, L., Burkhardt, J. K., Shin, J.-B., Striepen, B.: A screen for Cryptosporidium rhoptry proteins identifies ROP1 as an effector targeting the host cytoskeletal modulator LMO7. Cell Host & Microbe 29: 1-14, 2021.
Sateriale, A., Gullicksrud, J. A., Engiles, J. B., McLeod, B. I., Kugler, E. M., Henao-Mejia, J., Zhou, T., Ring, A. M., Brodsky, I. E., Hunter, C. A., Striepen, B.: The intestinal parasite Cryptosporidium is controlled by an enterocyte intrinsic inflammasome that depends on NLRP6. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118(2): 8, 2021.
Guerin, A., Striepen, B.: The biology of the intestinal intracellular parasite Cryptosporidium. Cell Host & Microbe 28(4): 509-515, 2020.
Vinayak, S., Jumani, R. S., Miller, P., Hasan, M. M., McLeod, B. I., Tandel, J., Stebbins, E. E., Teixeira, J. E., Borrel, J., Gonse, A., Zhang, M. L., Yu, X. S., Wernimont, A., Walpole, C., Eckley, S., Love, M. S., McNamara, C. W., Sharma, M., Sharma, A., Scherer, C. A., Kato, N., Schreiber, S. L., Melillo, B., Striepen, B., Huston, C. D., Comer, E.: Bicyclic azetidines kill the diarrheal pathogen Cryptosporidium in mice by inhibiting parasite phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetase. Science Translational Medicine 12(563): 13, 2020.
Pawlowic, M. C., Somepalli, M., Sateriale, A., Herbert, G. T., Gibson, A. R., Cuny, G. D., Hedstrom, L., Striepen, B.: Genetic ablation of purine salvage in Cryptosporidium parvum reveals nucleotide uptake from the host cell. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(42): 21160-21165, 2019.
Sateriale, A., Slapeta, J., Baptista, R., Engiles, J. B., Gullicksrud, J. A., Herbert, G. T., Brooks, C. F., Kugler, E. M., Kissinger, J. C., Hunter, C. A., Striepen, B.: A genetically tractable, natural mouse model of cryptosporidiosis offers insights into host protective immunity. Cell Host & Microbe 26(1): 135-+ 2019.
Tandel, J., English, E. D., Sateriale, A., Gullicksrud, J. A., Beiting, D. P., Sullivan, M. C., Pinkston, B., Striepen, B.: Life cycle progression and sexual development of the apicomplexan parasite Cryptosporidium parvum. Nature Microbiology 4(12): 2226-2236, 2019.
Manjunatha, U. H., Vinayak, S., Zambriski, J. A., Chao, A. T., Sy, T., Noble, C. G., Bonamy, G. M. C., Kondreddi, R. R., Zou, B., Gedeck, P., Brooks, C. F., Herbert, G. T., Sateriale, A., Tandel, J., Noh, S., Lakshminarayana, S. B., Lim, S. H., Goodman, L. B., Bodenreider, C., Feng, G., Zhang, L., Blasco, F., Wagner, J., Leong, F. J., Striepen, B., Diagana, T. T.: A Cryptosporidium PI(4)K inhibitor is a drug candidate for cryptosporidiosis. Nature 546(7658): 376-380, Jun 15 2017.
Vinayak, S., Pawlowic, M. C., Sateriale, A., Brooks, C. F., Studstill, C. J., Bar-Peled, Y., Cipriano, M. J., Striepen, B.: Genetic modification of the diarrhoeal pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum. Nature 523(7561): 477-480, 2015.
Francia, M. E., Striepen, B.: Cell division in apicomplexan parasites. Nat Rev Microbiol 12(2): 125-136, 2014.
van Dooren, G. G., Striepen, B.: The algal past and parasite present of the apicoplast. Annu Rev Microbiol 67: 271-289, 2013.
Striepen, B.: Parasitic infections: Time to tackle cryptosporidiosis. Nature 503(7475): 189-191, 2013.