Graduate student Kaice LaFavers publishes her work on the role of a vacuole protein on calcium regulated egress in Cellular Microbiology.
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Our research focuses on the cell signaling events that drive the propagation of the parasiteToxoplasma gondii. This remarkable parasite infects any warm blooded animal, can invade any nulceated cell, is found everywhere in the world, and infects a third of the world population. Toxoplasma can cause birth defects, and opportunistic disease in HIV/AIDS, cancer and organ transplant patients. A great part of the pathogenesis associated with toxoplasmosis is due to the repeating cycles of cell invasion, replication and egress that drive its propagation through an infected individual. Our lab is interested in the signaling pathways that regulate various aspects of this lytic cycle. Given that events such as invasion and egress are essential for parasite survival and that Toxoplasma uses some unique signaling molecules our studies aim at discovering novel targets for the development of much needed anti-parasitic drugs.