skip to content

Our Research


Transposable elements (TEs) are mobile genetic entities that exist in almost all genomes. They constitute almost 50% of the human genome and have a life cycle very similar to that of viruses, with the exception that they rarely exit the cell. Instead, TEs replicate and insert themselves in the genome, potentially disrupting the normal function of the cell. Because of their self-replicating capacity TEs are often considered invaders and even parasites of the “host” genome.

I am interested in investigating the mechanisms by which the ‘host genome’ controls the activity of these TEs. This can be imagined as a sort of arms race, where TEs and the host genome fight for the genomic space. My work involves using computational biology tools (bioinformatics) to integrate data from genomes, next generation sequencing, RNA biology and more with the aim of understanding how these mechanisms have evolved in species of parasitic flatworms of clinical and veterinary importance.

Alongside others in the department, I help to organise the Dept of Pathology Bioinformatics Journal Club. Please get in touch if interested in participating.   


Dr Anna Protasio

Principal Investigator


Keeley McCabe

Research Assistant