Janis Liepins is researcher in the institute of Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Latvia. He has defended his thesis in 2015, in University of Latvia. Currently he is leading research group that focuses on the fundamental aspects of yeast nutritional physiology. The group aims to clarify mechanisms, which are involved in formation of starvation specific phenotype in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
The group tackles fundamental problem of purine or pyrimidine nucleotide auxotrophy. Purine nucleotide auxotrophy is typical trait of many eukaryotic parasitic organisms. Nucleotide metabolism is target for several immunosuppressant therapies, and is also foreseen as potent target for eukaryotic parasite control. Budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is excellent eukaryotic cell model organism and powerful tool for drug screening.
Understanding fundamental aspects of nucleotide auxotrophy would facilitate application of S. cerevisiae in specific drug screening or evolution experiments necessary for intracellular parasite metabolism studies.