Max Planck Research Group Pernas

The metabolism of infection

The metabolism of a cell, i.e. the processes that store, break down, utilize, import, and export metabolites, stand between an intracellular pathogen and the nutrients it needs to grow. We study the role of host metabolism in the cellular response to infection using Toxoplasma gondii as a model pathogen. Ageing has profound effects on metabolism and the response to microbial infection and therefore provides an optimal angle to begin dissecting these inputs. Ultimately, we hope to better understand how human metabolism influences the progression of infectious disease.

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Max Planck Research Group Leader

Lena Pernas, PhD



  • 2020 - 2024 | German Research Foundation (DFG)
    Research Training Grant RTG2550 "Dynamic Regulation of Cellular Protein Localization" Member
  • 2016 - 2020 | German Research Council
    Collaborative Research Center 1218: Mitochondrial Regulation of Cellular Function
  • 2019 - 2022 | Chinese Research Council (CRC)
    Graduate Fellowship
  • 2020 - 2025 | European Research Council (ERC)
    ERC Starting Grant (ERC-StG-2019 MITOvTOXO)
  • 2015 - 2018 | Life Science Research Foundation (LSRF)
    Simons Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2014 | European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO)
    Long-term Postdoctoral Fellowship