Kimberly S. Paul

Assistant Professor

Contact Information

308 Phone: 864-656-1489
FAX: 864-656-0435


  • Post-Doc Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 2005
  • Biology of Parasitism Summer Course, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, 1998
  • Ph.D. Molecular Biology, Princeton University, 1998
  • B.A. Biology, Northwestern University, 1991

Research Interests

  • 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 is focused on characterizing Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase and its role in regulating the activity of the ER and mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis pathways in response to the needs of the cell and the supply of fatty acids available from its environment.

Selected Publications

  • Vigueira, P.A. and Paul, K.S. “Requirement for Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase in Trypanosoma brucei is Dependent Upon the Growth Environment” (2011) Mol. Microbiol., in press.
  • 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.
  • Morita, Y.S., Paul, K.S., Englund, P.T. (2000) Specialized fatty acid synthesis in African trypanosomes: myristate for GPI anchors. Science 288, 140-3.

Recent Courses

  • BIOSC 456/656 - Animal and Veterinary Parasitology
  • BIOSC 457/657 - Animal and Veterinary Parasitology Laboratory
  • BIOSC 461/661 - Cell Biology
  • BIOSC 462/662 - Cell Biology Laboratory
  • MICRO 806 - Great Plagues: Paradigms in Infectious Diseases 
  • BIOSC/MICRO 804 - Ecology of Infectious Diseases

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Cell Biology, 1998 - present
  • American Society for Microbiology, 2002 - present
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2005 - present