Home | Microbiology | UMass

  Klingbeil DNA Replication Laboratory
Research    |    Teaching    |    People    |    Publications    |    News    |    Resources

Our laboratory studies the basic biology of the protist parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of the devastating disease African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). This disease currently affects over 500,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa. There are no vaccines, and the disease is fatal if left untreated. Current therapies rely mostly on drugs developed 50 years ago that are difficult to administer and often toxic. T. brucei and related trypanosomatids (T. cruzi and Leishmania species) are ancient eukaryotes with a number of unusual biological properties, but one of their most distinctive features is their mitochondrial DNA called kinetoplast DNA (kDNA). Unlike any other DNA in nature, kDNA is a network containing thousands of catenated DNA molecules (minicircles and maxicircles). Recent genetic studies in our lab using RNA interference (RNAi) provide strong evidence that kDNA is essential for both procyclic form (PF-insect form) and bloodstream form (BSF-disease causing form) parasites, thus identifying kDNA replication and repair processes as promising drug targets.

Currently, our research focuses on two areas: 1)  replication of the unique mitochondrial DNA network called kinetoplast DNA (kDNA), and 2) nuclear DNA replication initiation.

This work is funded by the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Agriculture , the Joeph P. Healey Endowment, and the University of Masschusetts Amherst.

    News & Events  

September 18, 2009 » Jeniffer Concepción passes her prelim exam. Congratulations, Jeny!

August 24, 2009 » Klingbeil lab outing at Six Flags New England.

July 25, 2009 » Klingbeil lab hike to the top of Mt. Sugarloaf and party at Dave's house.

July 3, 2009 » The Klingbeil lab welcomes visiting scholar Eva Vidal Rico. Eva is currently pursuing her PhD in Dr. Antonio Jimenez Ruiz's lab at the University de Alcala (Madrid, Spain).

June 26, 2009 » Juemin Luo returns from China. Welcome back, Juemin!