Genetics and Biochemistry

Dr. Kimberly Paul

Kimberly Paul

Associate Professor

Ph.D. Molecular Biology
1998, Princeton University

Contact Information
Office: 251A Life Sciences Building
Phone: (864) 643-9887

Research Focus Areas
Microbial Pathogenesis
Biochemistry and Metabolism
Cell and Developmental Biology


Research Activities

      Trypanosoma brucei is a eukaryotic parasite that causes a fatal disease in humans, African sleeping sickness. The parasite alternates between its tsetse fly vector and the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid of its mammalian host. By dramatically shifting its metabolism, these parasites are able to survive and thrive in these very different environmental niches.

      A primary interest in my lab is to understand how T. brucei modulates the metabolism (i.e. synthesis and uptake) of a key nutrient class, fatty acids, in response to its environment and during progression through its life cycle. In addition to being an important structural component of membranes and a source of energy, fatty acids also play a key role in the anchoring of the parasite's surface coat protein, which mediates the primary mechanism of immune evasion used by T. brucei.

      T. brucei has two putative organellar fatty acid synthesis pathways: one localized to the ER and one localized to the mitochondrion. Both of these pathways rely on the upstream enzyme Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase to make malonyl-CoA, the two-carbon donor used in fatty acid synthesis.Currently, the lab has three main projects:

   (1) Studying the regulation of fatty acid synthesis in response to the needs of the parasite and the environmental lipid supply

    (2) Defining the mechanisms of fatty acid uptake in T. brucei

    (3) Identifying the trypanosome lipid droplet machinery


Grant Support


 2007, 2011 Nominee, College of AFLS Teacher of the Year

2005 Elsevier Progress in Lipids Research Young Investigator Award

2005 American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Post-Doctoral Travel Fellowship


Johann Forrest
Sally Lin
Christina Mattingly
Sara "Gabby" Metropol
Spenser Staub
Audrey Stevens

Courses Taught

BCHM 4320
Biochemistry of Metabolism

BCHM 4340
General Biochemistry Lab II

Medical & Veterinary Parasitology

Medical & Veterinary Parasitology Laboratory

BIOSCI 4610/H4610/6610
Cell Biology

BIOSCI 4620/6620
Cell Biology Laboratory

MICRO 8060
Great Plagues: Paradigms in Infectious Diseases

MICRO 8070
Microbiology Journal Club

BIOSCI 8710/MICRO 8050
Ecology of Infectious Diseases

Parasite Club




Recent Publications

Vigueira, P.A., Ray, S.S., Martin, B.A., Ligon, M.M., and Paul, K.S. (2012) “Effects of the green tea catechin (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) on Trypanosoma brucei brucei.” In Press, International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2012.09.001.

Parmenter, K.J., Vigueira, P.A., Morlock, C.K., Paul, K.S., and Childress, M.J. (2012) “Seasonal Prevalence of Hematodinium sp. Infections of Blue Crabs in Three South Carolina (USA) rivers.” In Press, Estuaries and Coasts, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-012-9556-1.

Tuten, H.C., Bridges, W.C., Paul, K.S., Adler, P.H. (2012) Blood-feeding ecology of mosquitoes in zoos. In Press at Med. Vet. Entomol. (doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2915.2012.01012.x)

Vigueira, P.A., Paul, K.S. “Trypanosoma brucei: Inhibition of acetyl-CoA carboxylase by haloxyfop.” (2011) Exp. Parasitol. 130: 159-165

Vigueira, P.A. and Paul, K.S. “Requirement for Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase in Trypanosoma brucei is Dependent Upon the Growth Environment” (2011) Mol. Microbiol. 80: 117 -132.

Stephens, J.L., Lee, S.H., Paul, K.S., Englund, P.T. (2007) Mitochondrial Fatty Acid Synthesis in Trypanosoma brucei. J. Biol. Chem. 282, 4427- 4436.

Lee, S.H., Stephens, J.L., Paul, K.S., Englund, P.T. (2006) Fatty Acid Synthesis by Elongases in Trypanosomes. Cell 126, 691-699.

Paul, K.S., Bacchi, C.J., Englund, P.T. (2004) Multiple triclosan targets in Trypanosoma brucei. Euk. Cell 3, 855-61.

*Morris, J.C., *Wang, Z., *Drew, M., *Paul, K.S., Englund, P.T. (2001) Inhibition of bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei gene expression by RNA interference using the pZJM dual T7 vector. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 117, 111–3. (*equal contribution)

Paul, K.S., Jiang, D., Morita, Y.S., Englund, P.T. (2001) Fatty acid synthesis in African trypanosomes: a solution to the myristate mystery. Trends in Parasitology 8, 381–7.