My laboratory is interested in the study of host-parasite interactions with a focus on the molecular mechanisms by which parasitic organisms monitor and respond to their environments. In general, there are multiple processes that can be used to regulate genes and their products. Alteration of gene expression through modulation in the rates of transcription, turn-over of steady-state RNA, and/or translation can influence the types of pathways available for catabolic/anabolic metabolism. Additionally, enzyme activity can be regulated by a number of mechanisms, including localization, multimerization, allosteric regulation, and a spectrum of post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation and glycosylation. Our long-term goal is to identify and characterize pathways that parasites uses to modulate metabolic and developmental regulation in response to environmental changes within the host, with a particular focus on dissecting the role of Trypanosoma brucei hexokinases (TbHKs) in these responses. We hypothesize that TbHK activity responds to, and is regulated by, cues provided by the host. Understanding the regulation and function of these essential proteins will provide new approaches for much-needed development of therapeutics for this parasite and could provide insight into glucose sensing in a variety of other systems, including higher eukaryotes. I received my B.S. in Biology from The College of William and Mary in 1990, an M.S. in Entomology from The University of Georgia in 1992, and my Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from The University of Georgia in 1997. I then spent five years at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore MD as a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Paul Englund’s lab working on the African trypanosome. In January 2003, we moved to Clemson University in the Department of Genetics and Biochemistry and I was promoted with tenure to Associate Professor in 2008.
Biography Updated on 23 January 2012