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FIVM Seminar Series: The Sexual Theory of Protozoan Parasite Expansion

Dr. Michael Grigg will talk about his research into understanding the determinants of virulence and pathogenesis in parasitic protozoa.

Throughout the world, parasitic protozoa are serious pathogens of both humans and animals. Research into their remarkable cell and molecular biology has identified unique models of eukaryotic pathogenesis, including antigenic variation, virulence shifts, and RNA editing.

On Friday, April 15, Dr. Michael Grigg, PhD, an expert in the field of molecular parasitology, will talk about his research into understanding the determinants of virulence and pathogenesis in parasitic protozoa. Dr. Grigg’s lab performs whole genome sequencing, population genetic, and molecular epidemiology analyses to identify protozoal agents associated with epidemic disease. He also uses both forward and reverse genetics to identify genetic determinants governing virulence shifts among parasitic protozoa. He has a particular interest in Toxoplasma gondii and will be discussing his work investigating the contribution of sexual reproduction in the evolution of new, virulent strains of protozoan pathogens. 

Dr. Grigg is Chief, Molecular Parasitology Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, NIAD
National Institutes of Health. He earned his B.Sc. in 1989 from the University of British Columbia. He obtained his Ph.D. and D.I.C. in 1994 from the Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of London. From 1994 to 1997, Dr. Grigg was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute senior fellow at the University of Washington. From 1997 to 2001, he trained as a postdoctoral scholar in molecular parasitology at Stanford University. In 2002, he was appointed at the assistant professor level in medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of British Columbia. In 2006, he joined the Laboratory of Parasitic Disease as a tenure-track investigator. In 2013, he was appointed senior investigator at NIH. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and Oklahoma State University.