Welcome to the Laboratory of Dr. Paul Davis at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. We study the molecular pathogenesis of the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii and closely related parasites.
T. gondii infects nearly one-third of the world population. Infection is typically life-long, as the parasite forms cysts in the brain which are resistant to immune clearance or drug treatment. In addition, it is a leading cause of fetal malformations in the United States and throughout the world. Aside from exposure during pregnancy, infection was considered asymptomatic, but recent reports suggest that infection may alter behavior in animals.
Our lab studies the formation of the brain cyst at the molecular and genetic level to better understand how this process occurs in humans and other infected animals. In addition, we use T. gondii as a model organism for studying anti-malarial compounds.