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Current Research Topics (not exhaustive):

Toxoplasma image

  • Genetic elements involved in bradyzoite (tissue) cyst formation: Transcriptomic data suggests that a shared transcriptional motif drives a subset of genes during early bradyzoite (tissue cyst) formation. We are designing transgenic constructs to evaluate the specificity of this putative motif.

  • Genes invovled in bradyzoite formation: Our microarray data detailing gene responses during bradyzoite conversion has identified a small subset of early-upregulated transcripts which may be imporant for bradyzoite formation. Confirmatory knock-out studies are currently underway to determine their role in cyst formation

  • Anti-parasitic compounds: Following up on our recent work with novel anti-parasitic compounds, we are attempting to ascertain the mechanism of action for compounds identified to have anti-Toxoplasma and (very potent) anti-malarial activity. This work includes using high-throughput DNA and RNA sequencing.

  • Host genes required for intracellular parasite growth: T. gondii growth only occurs within host cells. Using a high-throughput host gene overexpression screen, we have identified human genes putatively associated with enhanced (or decreased) parasite growth.