The Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) scheme is a separate element of the Discovery Program. The DECRA scheme will provide more focused support for researchers and create more opportunities for early-career researchers in both teaching and research, and research-only positions.
Adele Lehane received a DECRA (DE160101035) for 2016-2018, to determine how Apicomplexan parasites regulate their sodium and chloride levels to support the development of new parasite control measures. Apicomplexan parasites cause devastating animal and human diseases. Little is known about the physiology of these parasites, and options for controlling them are few. Apicomplexan parasites must precisely control their internal ion compositions in order to survive, but how they do so is not understood. Recent work has identified a unique Apicomplexan sodium transporter and revealed a number of chloride transporter candidates. Using a combination of molecular biology and physiological techniques, this project aims to characterise the Apicomplexan sodium transporter in detail and elucidate the molecular mechanisms of chloride transport.