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
Assistant Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The focus of our research program is to understand three seemingly disparate levels of biological organization during gametogenesis and early development: the molecular signatures for totipotency at the beginning of life, their variation among species, and their involvement as mechanisms of evolutionary change. We use comparative genomics and wet-lab approaches to understand how and why speciation primarily affects reproduction and its functions. Our approach provides a conceptual framework for personalized genomic medicine in human reproductive health.
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Postdoctoral Scholar Research, NON USF HEALTH
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.