Cell biology of trypanosomes

Dr Sue Vaughan

My laboratory is interested in the cell biology of the African trypanosome Trypanosoma brucei. This eukaryotic organism is spread by the tsetse fly and is of medical and veterinary importance as it causes sleeping sickness in Humans and Nagana in cattle in sub-saharan Africa. We are particularly interested in aspects of cell morphogenesis and how the cytoskeleton duplicates and segregates during cell division. Trypanosoma brucei is now widely regarded as a good model organism to study the biogenesis of eukaryotic cilia and flagella and we are interested how the single flagellum of this parasite divides.

See the World Health Organisation website for more information on African trypanosomes.


  • Dr Sue Vaughan, Research Group Leader
  • Dr Katie Towers, Postdoctoral Researcher
  • Samantha Barry, PhD student


  • Oxford Brookes University




  • Hughes L, Hawes C, Monteith S, Vaughan S (2013). Serial block face scanning electron microscopy-the future of cell ultrastructure imaging. Protoplasma. Nov 17. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Wheeler RJ, Scheumann N, Wickstead B, Gull K, Vaughan S (2013) Cytokinesis in Trypanosoma brucei differs between bloodstream and tsetse trypomastigote forms: implications for microtubule-based morphogenesis and mutant analysis.
    Mol Microbiol. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12436.
  • Hughes L, Towers K, Starborg T, Gull K, Vaughan S (2013) A cell body groove housing the new flagellum tip suggests an adaptation of cellular morphogenesis for parasitism in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. J Cell Sci. 2013 Oct 14. [Epub ahead of print]
  • AndrĂ© J, Harrison S, Towers K, Qi X, Vaughan S, McKean PG, Ginger ML (2013).Tubulin-binding cofactor C domain-containing protein TBCCD1 orchestrates cytoskeletal filament formation. Cell Sci. 2013 Oct 7. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Lacomble S, Vaughan S, Deghelt M, Moreira-Leite FF, Gull K (2012) A Trypanosoma brucei protein required for maintenance of the flagellum attachment zone and flagellar pocket ER domains. Protist. Jul;163(4):602-15.
  • Brandon S. J. Davies, Chris N. Goulbourne, Richard H. Barnes, Kirsten A. Turlo, Peter Gin, Sue Vaughan, David J. Vaux, AndrĂ© Bensadoun, Anne P. Beigneux, Loren G. Fong, and Stephen G. Young (2012). Assessing mechanisms of GPIHBP1 and lipoprotein lipase movement across endothelial cells. J Lipid Res. 53(12):2690-7.
  • Lacomble S, Vaughan S, Deghelt M, Moreira-Leite FF, Gull K (2012). A Trypanosoma brucei protein required for maintenance of the flagellum attachment zone and flagellar pocket ER domains. Protist. 2012 Jul;163(4):602-15.

Full List of Publications


Dr Sue Vaughan
+44 (0) 1865 483254

BBSRC logo

cellbiology of trypanosomes animated slideshow