Since earning a doctorate, Dr. Suvorova
has worked on essential functions of eukaryotic cells, including mechanisms
controlling growth and intracellular trafficking in yeast, mammalian cells and
apicomplexan parasites. Currently, Dr. Suvorova’s lab works with Toxoplasma
gondii, an important
human pathogen that causes life-long infection in millions of people. People at severe risk include individuals
with a weak immune system and women that acquire the infection during
pregnancy. Toxoplasma gondii is a
member of the Apicomplexa phylum of obligate protozoan parasites that also
includes other pathogens that cause malaria and cryptosporidiosis. Since
arrival at USF in 2009, Dr. Suvorova has focused on studies of essential
mechanisms and novel structures required for apicomplexan replication.
Apicomplexan parasites have peculiar cell cycles that can produce a few to
thousands of daughter parasites in one division. The molecular basis for such
unusual cell cycles is unknown and is the major interest of her
laboratory. Dr. Suvorova’s lab employs
an array of genetic, biochemical, and cell biological approaches in the
tachyzoite growth model of T. gondii to
explore the unknown biology of apicomplexan parasites. It is the ultimate goal
of these studies to uncover molecular vulnerabilities upon which new treatments
to combat these pathogens can be developed.
USF Health: To envision and implement the future of health.