Department of Biological Sciences
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Zhicheng Dou is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Clemson University. His research group focuses on the detailed mechanism of how Toxoplasma parasites acquire host macromolecular nutrients through their endolysosomal system to support their intracellular growth, and further identifying the therapeutic targets within this pathway to intervene in Toxoplasma infection. He teaches courses in general cell biology and graduate-level advanced cell biology.
Toxoplasma gondii is one of the most successful parasites on the earth, infecting nearly one-third of the global human population. The infection can cause severe diseases affecting the eyes, brain, and heart of the people with a weakened immune system, such as AIDs patients and pregnant women. As an obligate intracellular parasite, the Toxoplasma parasite has to ingest nutrients from host cells to support its intracellular replication. Zhicheng has recently revealed that the Toxoplasma parasite ingests host cytosolic proteins and digests them in its digestive organelle. His work will expand the understanding of nutrient acquisition and utilization in Toxoplasma parasites and identify potential therapeutic targets to prevent and toxoplasmosis.
Infectious Disease, Parasitology, Lysosome, Protease, Cell Biology, Toxoplasmosis, Toxoplasma gondii