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Associate Members

Dr Reto Guler PhD (Geneva)

Division of Immunology & International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB) Cape Town component


Reto GulerSenior Research Officer, International Centre for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology (ICGEB) Cape Town component & Associate Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM)
Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT

Reto Guler’s research group performs genome-wide transcriptomics on RNA transcripts to identify host drug targets against tuberculosis and leishmaniasis. Their goal is to identify host factors and pathways that are subverted by Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Leishmania major to increase their persistence and survival within macrophages. The group aims to validate identified drug targets genes in macrophages and experimental mouse models by gain and loss of function studies.

Leishmaniasis project:

  • Novel host-protective functions against leishmaniasis using transcriptomics and cell-specific gene deficient mice.

Tuberculosis projects:

  • Identification of host microRNAs as potential drug targets against tuberculosis. 
  • Identification of potential drug targets in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway to combat TB. 
  • Transcriptonomics to identify drug/vaccine candidates against TB.
  • The role of classically and alternative activated macrophages in host response to TB using genome-wide transcriptome analysis.
  • Protective and subversive mechanisms of macrophage-specific non-coding RNA during M. tuberculosis infection.

KEY EXPERTISE: Immunology, infectious diseases, tuberculosis, listeriosis, leishmaniasis, identification of host-directed drug targets, transcriptomics, non-coding RNA, microRNA, lncRNA


Selected publications:

Guler R, Brombacher F. Host-directed drug therapy for tuberculosis. Nature Chemical Biology (2015) Sep 17;11(10):748-751.

Guler R, Roy S, Suzuki H, Brombacher F. Targeting Batf2 for infectious diseases and cancer. Oncotarget (2015) Sep 29;6(29):26575-82.

Roy S, Schmeier S, Arner E, Alam T, Parihar SP, Ozturk M, Tamgue O, Kawaji H, de Hoon MJ, Itoh M, Lassmann T, Carninci P, Hayashizaki Y, Forrest AR, Bajic VB, Guler R, Brombacher F, Suzuki H. Redefining the transcriptional regulatory dynamics of classically and alternatively activated macrophages by deepCAGE transcriptomics.  Nucleic Acids Res. (2015) Aug 18;43(14):6969-82.

Roy S, Guler R, Parihar SP, Schmeier S, Kaczkowski B, Nishimura H, Shin JW, Negishi Y1, Ozturk M, Hurdayal R, Kubosaki A, Kimura Y, de Hoon MJ, Hayashizaki Y, Brombacher F, Suzuki H. Batf2/Irf1 Induces inflammatory responses in classically activated macrophages, lipopolysaccharides, and mycobacterial infection. J Immunol. (2015) May 8. pii: 1402521.

Guler R, Parihar SP, Savvi S, Logan E, Schwegmann A, Roy S, Nieuwenhuizen NE, Ozturk M, Schmeier S, Suzuki H, Brombacher F. IL-4Rα-dependent alternative activation of macrophages is not decisive for Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathology and bacterial burden in mice. PLoS One. (2015) Mar 19;10(3):e0121070.

Arner E, Daub CO, Vitting-Seerup K, Andersson R, Lilje B, Drabløs F, Lennartsson A, Rönnerblad M, Hrydziuszko O, Vitezic M, Freeman TC, Alhendi AM, Arner P, Axton R, Baillie JK, Beckhouse A, Bodega B, Briggs J, Brombacher F, Davis M, Detmar M, Ehrlund A, Endoh M, Eslami A, Fagiolini M, Fairbairn L, Faulkner GJ, Ferrai C, Fisher ME, Forrester L, Goldowitz D, Guler R, Ha T, Hara M, Herlyn M, Ikawa T, Kai C, Kawamoto H, Khachigian LM, Klinken SP, Kojima S, Koseki H, Klein S, Mejhert N, Miyaguchi K, Mizuno Y, Morimoto M, Morris KJ, Mummery C, Nakachi Y, Ogishima S, Okada-Hatakeyama M, Okazaki Y, Orlando V, Ovchinnikov D, Passier R, Patrikakis M, Pombo A, Qin XY, Roy S, Sato H, Savvi S, Saxena A, Schwegmann A, Sugiyama D, Swoboda R, Tanaka H, Tomoiu A, Winteringham LN, Wolvetang E, Yanagi-Mizuochi C, Yoneda M, Zabierowski S, Zhang P, Abugessaisa I, Bertin N, Diehl AD, Fukuda S, Furuno M, Harshbarger J, Hasegawa A, Hori F, Ishikawa-Kato S, Ishizu Y, Itoh M, Kawashima T, Kojima M, Kondo N, Lizio M, Meehan TF, Mungall CJ, Murata M, Nishiyori-Sueki H, Sahin S, Nagao-Sato S, Severin J, de Hoon MJ, Kawai J, Kasukawa T, Lassmann T, Suzuki H, Kawaji H, Summers KM, Wells C; FANTOM Consortium, Hume DA, Forrest AR, Sandelin A, Carninci P, Hayashizaki Y. Gene regulation. Transcribed enhancers lead waves of coordinated transcription in transitioning mammalian cells.  Science (2015) Feb 27;347(6225).


Contact details:

ICGEB and Division of Immunology
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine
Room S1.31, Wernher & Beit Building South
Faculty of Health Sciences
University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
South Africa

Tel:  +27 21 406 6033
Fax: +27 86 640 7594

email: reto.guler@uct.ac.za

Alternate site:  http://www.icgeb.org/home-ct.html

 

GROUP MEMBERS Position RELATIONSHIP
Dr Ousman Tamgue Post-Doctoral supervisor
Dr Paulin Essone Post-Doctoral joint-supervisor
Lerato Hlaka PhD student supervisor
Nathan Scott Kieswetter PhD student supervisor
Lorna Gcanga PhD student supervisor 
Shelby Jones PhD student co-supervisor

 

Collaborations:

2015-Present:
“Predictive biomarkers (Batf2/ PKCdelta) for TB disease progression”
Associate Prof. Thomas Scriba, SATVI, UCT, South Africa

2015-Present:
“Identification of nucleic and cytosolic proteins interacting with long non-coding RNA in classically (IFNγ) and alternatively (IL-4/IL-13) activated macrophages following M. tuberculosis infection by proteomics”
Prof. Jonathan Blackburn, Applied Proteomics and Chemical Biology Group, UCT, South Africa"

2014-Present:
“Identification of differentially expressed microRNAs and long-non coding RNA in M. tuberculosis-infected human alveolar macrophages and PBMCs”
Prof. Keertan Dheda, Lung Infection and Immunity Unit Pulmonology and Clinical Immunology, UCT, South Africa"

2014-Present:
"Development of a novel inhalable drug formulation for the treatment of TB"
Dr. Katharine Carter, Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, UK

2013-Present:
"Novel host protective functions against leishmaniasis"
Prof. Fabienne Tacchini-Cottier, Department of Biochemistry, WHO-IRTC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

2013-Present:
"Identification of host microRNAs as potential drug targets against TB"
Dr. Sebastian Schmeier, Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand

2012-Present:
"Host drug-targeting candidates for tuberculosis using transcriptomics"
Prof. Harukazu Suzuki, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies, Yokohama, Japan

2012-Present:
"Host drug-targeting candidates for tuberculosis using transcriptomics"
Dr. Roy Sugata, RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies, Division of Genomic Technologies, Yokohama, Japan

2012-Present:
st non-coding RNA as drug-targeting candidates for TB using transcriptomics"
Prof. Vladimir Bajic, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

2012-Present:
"Host drug-targeting candidates for tuberculosis using transcriptomics"
Associate Prof. Carsten Daub, Department of Biosciences, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden

2011-Present:
"Drug targets in the host cholesterol biosynthesis pathway to combat TB"
Prof. David Marais, Division of Chemical Pathology, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa

2006-Present:
"Drug target identification against tuberculosis using virus-like-particles"
Prof. Martin Bachmann, University of Bern, Switzerland & Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar