Lab Members

Dana Aghabi
Research Technician

Dana completed her BSc (Hons) in Molecular and Cellular Biology and an MRes in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Glasgow. During her undergraduate studies, Dana had the privilege to complete a Wellcome Trust funded project with Prof. Markus Meissner, investigating a split CRISPR/Cas9 system to screen a subset of essential genes in Toxoplasma gondii for novel factors involved in the regulation of actin dynamics.  Dana was also completed her honours project with Dr. Lilach Sheiner where she worked on the development of a tRNA import assay in Toxoplasma gondii. During her master’s, Dana completed placements with Dr. Tansy Hammarton and Dr. Melanie Jimenez, where she investigated the use of microfluidic technologies to separate pure life cycle and cell cycle stages of mixed populations of Leishmania parasites. Her second placement with Prof. Andy Waters involved exploring the molecular basis of artemisinin resistance in a rodent model of malaria; Plasmodium berghei, by examining the role of Kelch-13 mutations.

Dana has a strong interest in molecular parasitology and joined the Harding Lab as a research technician in January 2020. She is currently interested in the role that iron plays in Toxoplasma gondii, and how these fascinating parasites acquire, use and store iron from their host cells.

Megan Sloan
Research associate

After gaining her BSc in Biological Sciences, from the University of Bath, Megan completed her DPhil in the labs of Prof. Petros Ligoxygakis and Prof. Keith Gull at the University of Oxford. Her project investigated the interactions between Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies) and the trypanosomatid parasite Herpetomonas muscarum. After sequencing the parasite genome, Megan used transcriptomics to identify genes from both host and parasite which were critical to the outcome of infection.

Megan joined the Harding group as a postdoc in January 2020. She is currently interested in how Toxoplasma gondii acquires iron from its host, and how gene expression in the parasite changes in response to local iron concentration

Clare Harding

Clare completed her PhD in microbiology at Imperial College London before moving to the University of Glasgow as a postdoc in the lab of Markus Messiner. Here she began work on the parasite cytoskeleton, specifically the protein-rivets that join disparate elements of the cell together. After two years and gaining a Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship, she moved to the Whitehead Institute at MIT under the guidance of Sebastian Lourido. While there, Clare learned a number of valuable technical skills and was able to indulge her love of microscopy.

In 2019 Clare was awarded a Sir Henry Dale fellowship to allow her to move back to the University of Glasgow, and the Wellcome center, to start her own group, focusing on the parasite’s use of iron.