The courses I teach include Cell Biology, Microbiology, Genetics and Molecular Biology as well as Immunology and Parasitology.
Research projects in my lab focus on dissecting the process of organelle biogenesis in the human blood parasite Trypanosoma brucei. T. brucei is the pathogen responsible for African Sleeping Sickness and is transmitted via the tsetse fly insect vector. African trypanosomes have long been important pathogens of both humans and domestic animals in many regions of Africa. My lab is interested in identifying genes involved in organelle biogenesis in this eukaryotic, single celled organism. We utilize bioinformatic analysis of the T. brucei genome to identify genes potentially involved in biogenesis of the lipid droplet organelle, then clone these genes into epitope-tagged plasmid expression vectors in order to determine the subcellular localization of the encoded proteins. Through identification of genes and proteins important in organelle biogenesis it may in the future be possible to specifically inhibit these processes as an avenue for treatment for this disease.