Laura Knoll

Associate Professor
Medical Microbiology and Immunology
1550 Linden Drive, Madison WI 53726
Focus Groups: 
PhD in 1994 from Washington University in St Louis
Research Summary: 
We study the host/pathogen interactions for the parasite Toxoplasma gondii in a mouse model
Research Detail: 

Our research centers on studying the host/pathogen interactions of the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. T. gondii is well known for causing encephalitis in immunocompromised patients and is a member of the coccidian family of parasites that include Plasmodium (causative agent of malaria) and Cryptosporidium (causative agent of diarrhea). My laboratory uses the latest technologies, including next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry, to uncover the parasite and host genes that are necessary for the establishment and maintenance of chronic infection in animals. We then use biochemistry, molecular and cell biology to define the how and why these pathogen and host genes are important. 

Selected Publications: 
Pittman KJ, Aliota MT, Knoll LJ (2014) Dual transcriptional profiling of mice and Toxoplasma gondii during acute and chronic infection. BMC Genomics 15:806
Neal LM, Knoll LJ (2014) Toxoplasma gondii profilin promotes recruitment of Ly6Chi CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes that can confer resistance to bacterial infection. PLoS Pathog. 10(6):e1004203
Settles EW, Moser LA, Harris TH, Knoll LJ (2014) Toxoplasma gondii upregulates interleukin-12 to prevent Plasmodium berghei-induced experimental cerebral malaria. Infect. Immun. 82(3):1343-53
Hsiao CH, Luisa Hiller N, Haldar K, Knoll LJ (2013) A HT/PEXEL motif in Toxoplasma dense granule proteins is a signal for protein cleavage but not export into the host cell. Traffic 14(5):519-31
Magle CT, Pittman KJ, Moser LA, Boldon KM, Knoll LJ (2012) A Toxoplasma patatin-like protein changes localization and alters the cytokine response during toxoplasmic encephalitis. Infect. Immun. 80(1):55-61
Payne TM, Payne AJ, Knoll LJ (2011) A Toxoplasma gondii mutant highlights the importance of translational regulation in the apicoplast during animal infection. Mol. Microbiol. 82(5):1204-16
O'Brien KB, Schultz-Cherry S, Knoll LJ (2011) Parasite-mediated upregulation of NK cell-derived gamma interferon protects against severe highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus infection. J. Virol. 85(17):8680-8
Frankel MB, Knoll LJ (2008) Functional analysis of key nuclear trafficking components reveals an atypical Ran network required for parasite pathogenesis. Mol. Microbiol. 70(2):410-20
Frankel MB, Mordue DG, Knoll LJ (2007) Discovery of parasite virulence genes reveals a unique regulator of chromosome condensation 1 ortholog critical for efficient nuclear trafficking. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 104(24):10181-6
Mordue DG, Scott-Weathers CF, Tobin CM, Knoll LJ (2007) A patatin-like protein protects Toxoplasma gondii from degradation in activated macrophages. Mol. Microbiol. 63(2):482-96