Professor David Horn

FRSE

Professor

Biological Chemistry and Drug Discovery, School of Life Sciences

Portrait photo of David Horn
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Contact

Email

d.horn@dundee.ac.uk

Phone

+44 (0)1382 386286

Locations

Discovery Centre

Research

African trypanosomes are parasitic protists which cause sleeping sickness or Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT) and the livestock disease, nagana. They are masters of antigenic variation and immune evasion in the host bloodstream. One goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this process. DNA repair is required to replace the active Variant Surface Glycoprotein (VSG) gene with a new VSG and VSG expression is monoallelic (at a telomere) so our work in this area focuses on understanding mechanisms of DNA recombination and monotelomeric gene expression.

We also seek to understand drug action and resistance. We recently identified >50 genes linked to drug action. Suramin uptake was shown to be via receptor (ISG75)-mediated endocytosis while an aquaglyceroporin (AQP2) controls melarsoprol-pentamidine cross-resistance; AQP2 has now also been linked to clinical cases of melarsoprol resistance.

Our exploitation of genome sequence data is underpinned by technology development. In particular, we have developed an RNAi library screening method called RNA Interference Target sequencing or RIT-seq. Our research is supported by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council and DH is a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator.

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Stories

Research interests

Antigenic variation, drug resistance and RNAi screens in trypanosomes

Awards

Award Year
Major Personal Funding Awards / Wellcome Investigator Award 2019
International Science Prizes awarded since 1990 / William Trager Award for Basic Parasitology 2019
Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 2017
National Sciences Prizes awarded since 1990 / C.A. Wright Memorial Medal 2016
Major Personal Funding Awards / Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award 2012