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We work on African trypanosomes and Leishmania, parasites that cause neglected tropical diseases of poverty (NTDs). We investigate the motion and navigation of parasites in their natural environments inside the mammalian host and the disease transmitting tsetse fly. This swimming influences the mobility of proteins on membranes, the division of organelles and the developmental cycle of the parasites.

Parasites have evolved in the most intimate proximity with their hosts. This means they have developed strategies to continuously evade our highly advanced defense strategies.  By learning from the tricks of parasite we might learn a lot about us

Being fascinated by parasites and their biological and biochemical peculiarities we have mostly done basic science. In the past years, however, we have been more and more engaged in the direct fight against NTDs. The recent foundation of the DZVT is one big step forward.

Honestly, I would wish that the German society would be more interested in science and research (and of course I would love never ending funding) 

Contact details

Markus Engstler, Lehrstuhl für Zell- und Entwicklungsbiologie, Biozentrum der Universität Würzburg, Am Hubland, 97974 Würzburg, markus.engstler(at)

Foto: Jaime Lisack, Markus Engstler (Biozentrum Würzburg)


DFG Research Training Group 2046

„Parasite Infections from experimental models to natural systems”


Novel Drug Targets against Poverty-related and Neglected Tropical Infectious Diseases

DFG International Research Training Group 2290

“Crossing Boundaries: Molecular Interactions in Malaria”

Wellcome Trust Strategic Award

“Flatworm Functional Genomics Initiative (FUGI)”

DFG Priority Program SPP 2225

“EXIT Strategies of Intracellular Pathogens”

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Parasitologie

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