|Education||BS, Loyola College|
Dr. Paul Englund
|Current Position||Assistant Professor|
Pennsylania State Brandywine
Mitochondrial DNA replication in Trypanosomes
Trypanosoma brucei, a eukaryotic parasite that causes African sleeping sickness in humans, has many unusual biological features. Of particular interest is the mitochondrial genome of the parasite, called kinetoplast DNA or kDNA. kDNA is a network of thousands of topologically interlocked DNA circles. Our approach has been to use RNA interference to do forward genetics in these parasites, thus identifying novel proteins involved in the replication of this complex structure. Studying such proteins may not only shed light on mitochondrial DNA dynamics in other eukaryotes, but may also provide valuable drug targets for selective chemotherapy of this devastating disease.