Frontier Research Institute for Interdisciplinary Sciences
Tohoku University


Fumi Murakoshi

Assistant ProfessorLife and Environmentse

Mentor Information
Kentaro Kato (Graduate School of Agricultural Science)
Research Fields Parasitology and Virology
Research Subjects
  • Functional analysis of parasitic symbiotic viruses
  • Interaction of pathogens during co-infection
  • Molecular epidemiology of parasites
Academic Society Membership Japanese Society of Parasitology, The Japanese Society of Veterinary Science, The Japanese Society for Virology
Research Outline  

Parasites are organisms that lives on or inside other organisms (hosts). They have complex life cycles and are transmitted from one host to another, and they employ clever survival strategies that can drastically change their own morphology. When infecting humans and animals, parasites cause a variety of pathologies, many of which can be fatal if untreated. Parasitic infections are a problem in rural and emerging areas, but some parasites are also common in developed countries, and many species are problematic because no effective drugs or vaccines exist. Among parasites, I am particularly interested in eukaryotic unicellular parasites (protozoa), which can only be seen under a microscope.

In recent years, it has become clear that viruses are found symbiotically coexisting with these protozoan parasites. However, the effects of their existence on the protozoa themselves and their hosts remain largely unknown.

I am studying how " protozoan symbiotic viruses" affect protozoa and their hosts, and by what mechanisms they do so. I am also searching for novel protozoan symbiotic viruses. In some of the protozoa I am currently studying, it has become clear that the presence of a symbiotic virus increases the virulence of the protozoa to the host. My goal is to elucidate the mechanism in detail and contribute to the control of protozoa diseases.

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