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Department of Pathology

Ubiquitin biology


Parasites have adapted intricate mechanisms of avoiding host immune responses, limiting tissue damage, and modulating their immediate surrounding to support their presence.

We aim to understand how they adapt themselves to their environment to not only uncover novel therapeutic targets, but also to learn about the host tissues they colonise.

We have a particular interest in understanding how the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, uses its ubiquitin-proteasome system to sustain development and transmission within human erythrocytes.


Key publications: 

Artemisinin susceptibility in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum: propellers, adaptor proteins and the need for cellular healing. Sutherland CJ, Henrici RC, Artavanis-Tsakonas K. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2021 May 5;45(3):fuaa056.

Nedd8 hydrolysis by UCH proteases in Plasmodium parasites. Karpiyevich M, Adjalley S, Mol M, Ascher DB, Mason B, van der Heden van Noort GJ, Laman H, Ovaa H, Lee MCS, Artavanis-Tsakonas K. PLoS Pathog. 2019 Oct 28;15(10):e1008086. 

Structural studies and characterization of the Plasmodium falciparum ubiquitin and Nedd8 hydrolase UCHL3. Artavanis-Tsakonas K,Weihofen WA,Antos JM, Coleman BI, Comeaux CA, Duraisingh MT, Gaudet R, Ploegh HL. J Biol Chem. 2010, Feb 26;285(9):6857-66.

Apicomplexan UCH- L3 retains dual specificity for ubiquitin and Nedd8 throughout evolution. Frickel EM, QuesadaV, Muething L, Gubbels MJ, Spooner E, Ploegh H, Artavanis-Tsakonas K. Cell Microbiol. 2007, 9(6):1601-10.


University Associate Professor
Head of Division of Microbiology and Parasitology
Dr Katerina  Artavanis-Tsakonas

Contact Details

01223 (7)64505
Available for consultancy