Epp Lab (2008 - 2015) / Bujard Lab (2016 - 2020)
Research focus of the Epp / Bujard lab
The Merozoite Surface Protein 1 of the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum – a Candidate for a Malaria Vaccine
Malaria remains one of the most severe infectious diseases of mankind with nearly half of the world’s population living in areas at risk. Around 400,000 patients, primarily children under five, die per year. In addition to the malaria caused mortality and morbidity, it is the risk of acquiring the disease itself, which profoundly affects social and economical development and this severely hampers escape from poverty.
Among the various strategies for fighting malaria, the concept of vaccination is particularly attractive. Advances in modern biology, indeed make subunit vaccines based on defined antigens of the parasite feasible.
The merozoite surface protein 1 (MSP-1) of P. falciparum is for a number of reasons considered a promising candidate for a vaccine against Malaria tropica, the most severe form of human malaria. MSP-1 constitutes the major protein component at the surface of the erythrocyte-invading form (merozoite) of the parasite, and even though we still lack information on exact function, it now is clear that MSP-1 plays a pivotal role during invasion of erythrocytes by merozoites.
We mourn the sad loss of Prof. Dr. Dr. h. c. Hermann Bujard
(16 April 1934 - 31 July 2021)
Hermann Bujard was a convinced scientist and founder of the companies TET Systems and Sumaya Biotech. His work on the mechanisms of gene regulation led to the development of a gene switch that is used worldwide. His greatest interest, however, was malaria research with the aim of developing a vaccine for children in malaria-endemic areas. With his hands-on and inspiring manner, his far-sightedness, his boundless optimism and his enthusiasm for research, he was always a great role model. His tireless commitment to the university, often beyond established structures and conventions, has had a lasting effect. As a university lecturer and mentor, he has inspired a whole generation of young scientists.
The memory of him will accompany us as we try to continue his life's work in his spirit.
We miss him painfully.
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