Morsani College of Medicine
Department of Molecular Medicine
Joint and Affiliate Faculty
Post-Doctorates / Research Associates
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Master's of Science Program
Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
Children's Research Institute (CRI)
Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
James A Haley Veteran's Hospital
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Caralina Marin De Evsikova,
Assistant Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The early developmental environment plays a pivotal role in susceptibility to adulthood metabolic disease, such as obesity and diabetes. The long-term goal of this project is to understand how the maternal and embryonic environment alters gene expression, which ultimately leads to disease, via epigenetics. Epigenome of each individual is established during the egg-to-embryo transition, which is sensitive to teratogens, such as alcohol, bisphenol A, or dietary exposures. To identify the role of epigenetics in metabolic disease, I am using a naturally occurring “epigenetic barometer” allele (viable yellow) of the Agouti gene in mice, whose expression is controlled by methylation levels. Nutrigenomics & Healthspan. My long-term goal is to develop new mouse models of adult-onset metabolic diseases by monitoring in vivo physiology coupled with quantitative molecular genetics to detect genes and pathways involved with weight gain. This approach has been successful in identifying changes in eating, activity, and loss of circadian rhythms underlying “normal” weight fluctuations from across the lifespan.
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Research in the White lab is focused on the malaria-related protzoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii. T.gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that causes severe disease in people with underdeveloped or compromised immune systems. Toxoplasmosis can be a lethal infection for people with AIDS, those undergoing chemotherapy and recent transplant recipients. Pathogenesis in this disease is the result of uncontrolled parasite growth in conjunction with significant tissue damage and inflammation. Given that parasite growth and division is critical to disease, it is important to understand the mechanisms that regulate the progression through the parasite cell cycle. Approximately ~2500 mRNAs show cyclic patterns of expression during parasite division, however, the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate periodic gene expression are largely uncharacterized. The recent discovery of a class of plant-like transcription factors in Apicomplexa has revealed an important set of proteins that play a critical role in parasite development and division.
My project centers on the characterization of these plant-like transcription factors, specifially those that lie in S-phase of the cell division cycle, a very critical and unique step in these parasites. What these factors regulate and how they are regulated is critical to our understanding of the progression of the cell division cycle in Toxoplasma gondii.
Research Associate, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
misfolding and aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins