Leishmania

Dawn Wetzel

Nematodes

David Manglesdorf

Plasmodium (Malaria)

Michelle Hsiang

Elisabeth Martinez

Meg Phillips

William Snell

Schistosomes

Jim Collins

Toxoplasma

Michael Reese

Trypanosomes

Richard Bruick

Meg Phillips

Jay Schneider

Leishmania

Dawn Wetzel, M.D., Ph.D.  •  Email  

The Wetzel lab works to elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of leishmaniasis. We focus on how Leishmania is engulfed by, and survives within, macrophages. Since preventing the entry of Leishmania into macrophages limits disease manifestations in animal models, learning more about this entry process may allow the development of new therapies that treat infection with this important pathogen.

Nematodes

David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

Plasmodium

Michelle Hsiang, M.D.  •  Email  

Dr. Hsiang’s research is in the evaluation of surveillance and response strategies for malaria elimination. Specifically, she is interested in helping national malaria programs find and treat patients who are without symptoms, but are infected and serve as reservoirs for persistent transmission. She currently has field sites in Swaziland, Namibia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Elisabeth Martinez, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

Transcriptional regulation in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, is predominantly controlled by epigenetic mechanisms. These mechanisms allow the parasite to temporally and spatially switch gene expression patterns to support its life cycle and evade the host immune system. Using biochemical and chemical genomics tools that the laboratory has established over the last several years, we aim to define the function of key epigenetic enzymes in Plasmodium falciparum’s development, pathology and drug resistance.

Margaret Phillips, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

We study the biochemistry of trypanosome and malaria parasites, with a focus on enzymology, structural biology, and drug discovery. Our target pathways are pyrimidine biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum and both polyamine biosynthesis and nucleotide metabolism in Trypanosoma brucei.

William Snell, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

Transmission of malaria through the mosquito host requires that Plasmodium male and female gametes fuse within the midgut of the insect to form a zygote. In our studies of gamete fusion in the green alga Chlamydomonas we discovered an ancient membrane protein, HAP2, that is essential for Chlamydomonas gamete fusion. In collaboration with the Sinden and Billker groups in the UK, we showed that HAP2 is also required for gamete fusion in Plasmodium, thereby becoming a new target for a transmission blocking malaria vaccine. In our continued comparative studies, we identified a broadly conserved nuclear fusion protein family required for meiosis in both organisms.

Schistosomes

Jim Collins, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

Schistosomes are parasitic flatworms that cause significant disease and disability in more than 200 million of the world’s poorest people. Using a variety of functional genomic approaches we seek to understand fundamental aspects of schistosome biology, including the biology of somatic and reproductive stem cells.

Toxoplasma gondii

Michael Reese, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

The Reese lab studies the mechanisms by which the ubiquitous parasite Toxoplasma gondii co-opts the cellular signaling of its hosts, with an aim to understanding how evolutionary competition has shaped the signaling of both organisms.

Trypanosomes

Richard Bruick, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

Margaret Phillips, Ph.D.  •  Email  •  Lab Website

We study the biochemistry of trypanosome and malaria parasites, with a focus on enzymology, structural biology, and drug discovery. Our target pathways are pyrimidine biosynthesis in Plasmodium falciparum and both polyamine biosynthesis and nucleotide metabolism in Trypanosoma brucei.

Jay Schneider, M.D., Ph.D.  •  Email