Faculty Directory

Home » Faculty » Marie-Pierre Hasne

Marie-Pierre Hasne

Lecturer, Chemistry and Biochemistry (Career Track)

Degrees and Appointments

  • Pharm. D. Faculty of Pharmacy, Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France, 1989- 1997
  • D.E.A in Host-Parasites Interaction, University Paris XII, France, 1996- 1997
  • Ph.D. in Biochemical Parasitology, University of Glasgow, Scotland, 1998-2001
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon USA, 2001 to 2010
  • Research Assistant Professor, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon, USA, 2010 to 2017
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought, European Graduate School, Switzerland, 2013-2017

I teach metabolic biochemistry and nutrition. In my classes, I describe the classical features of metabolic pathways and their modes of regulation. I also emphasize the connections between metabolic pathways and I show how they tie to immunity, cell signaling, nutrition or disease. I present these pathways as intricate tapestries, or complex systems, that are fully integrated and able to regulate themselves.

Scientific Research
My research has focused on nutrient transporters in the particular context of protozoan parasites.

Parasites have streamlined metabolic pathways and they scavenge most of their nutrients from their human host via specific transporters. These transporters are gateways into the parasite and can be used as therapeutic targets. Yet, little is known about these transporters.

The parasites I study are also early eukaryotes and, as such, they share a fair amount features with prokaryotes. The study of these early eucaryotes provides data to understand transporters from other organisms on the phylogenic tree.
I have identified and characterized amino acid and polyamine transporters in Trypanosoma brucei (agent of sleeping sickness), Trypanosoma cruzi (agent of Chagas disease) and Leishmania (agent of leishmaniasis).

The construction of structural models and mutagenesis, allowed the identification of amino acids residues that participate in the ligand specificity of these transporters. Cell biology provided the tools to track the localization of these transporters at the surface of the parasites. Molecular biology allowed the creation of transporter knock-out parasites that tested the importance of these transporters for parasite survival. Biochemistry provided the tools to characterize the kinetic profiles of these transporters.

This work on amino acid and polyamine transporters in protozoan parasites has certainly provided information on the biology of these organisms but it has also opened the possibilities to identify similar transporters in other organisms and particularly in plants.

My philosophical inquiry is linked to my biological research as it pertains to the notion of access, the roles of edges, contours, limits in both defining and defying life. My work explores the tensions between the open and the closed. As infectious agents, parasites access other organisms and have strategically deployed ways to bypass the physiological barriers of theis hosts. The relation host/parasite is a relation of invader/invaded that creates a tension between life and death. I expended that biological concept into a philosophical inquiery; "What is Access? A Philosophy of the Limit" was the topic of my Ph.D. thesis in Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought.


St. Patrick’s Day: A time to toast … your liver; The Conversation, March 16, 2020;  (https://theconversation.com/st-patricks-day-a-time-to-toast-your-liver-132308)


K. Burghardt, C. Verzijl, J. Huang, M. Ingram, B. Song, and M.P. Hasne (2016). Testing Modeling Assumptions in the West Africa Ebola Outbreak. Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 34598, doi: 10.1038/srep34598

Hasne M.P., Soysa R., Ullman B. (2016). The Trypanosoma cruzi diamine transporter in essential for robust infection of mammalian cells. PLoS One, Apr 6; 11(4):e0152715. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152715

Barrett, M.P., Hasne, M-P. (2013) The biochemistry of African trypanosomes and its impact on drugs used in trypanosomiasis. In Sleeping Sickness lectures.  Publisher: Association contre la Trypanosomiase en Afrique (ATA), 39170 Saint Lupicin, France. Editors: P. Cattand, F. Louis, P.P. Simarro. pp. 13-40. ISBN: 978-2-9544171-0-3.

Soysa R., Venselaar H., Poston J., Ullman B., Hasne M.P. (2013). Structural Model of a Putrescine-Cadaverine Permease from Trypanosoma cruzi Predicts Residues Vital for Transport and Ligand Binding. Biochemical Journal, Jun 15; 452(3): 423-32.

M.P. Hasne and Buddy Ullman (2011). Methods for Genetic and Biochemical Analysis of Protozoal Polyamine Transporters.  In:  Polyamine Protocols Methods in Molecular Biology.  R.A. Casero and A.E. Pegg (eds.).

M.P. Hasne, I. Coppens, R. Soysa, B. Ullman (2010). A high-affinity putrescine-cadaverine transporter from Trypanosoma cruzi. Molecular Microbiology, 76(1): 78-91.

M.P. Hasne and Buddy Ullman (2005). Identification and Characterization of a polyamine permease from the protozoan parasite Leishmania major. The Journal of Biochemical Chemistry, 280 (15): 15188-15194.

M.P. Hasne and M.P. Barrett (2000). Transport of methionine in Trypanosoma brucei brucei. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 111 (2): 299-307.

M.P. Hasne and M.P. Barrett (2000). Drug uptake via nutrient transporters in Trypanosoma brucei. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 8-16.

M.P.Hasne and F. Lawrence (1999). Characterization of prenylated protein methyltransferase in Leishmania. Biochemical Journal, 342 (3): 513-518