Kimberly Paul

Assoc. Professor
Genetics and Biochemistry Department

Office: LSF 251A
Phone: 864-656-1489
Fax: 864-656-0393

Vita: Download CV
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 Educational Background

PhD Molecular Biology
Princeton University 1998

MS Molecular Biology
Princeton University 1993

BA Biology
Northwestern University 1991

 Courses Taught

BCHM 4320 Biochemistry of Metabolism
BCHM 4340 General Biochemistry Lab II
BCHM 4900 Genetics & Biochemistry of Eukaryotic Pathogens
BCHM 8140 Advanced Biochemistry (Team-Taught)

BCHM 3050 Essential Elements of Biochemistry (Co-Taught)
BIOSCI 4560 Medical & Veterinary Parasitology
BIOSCI 4570 Medical & Veterinary Parasitology Laboratory
BIOSCI 4610/H4610/6610 Cell Biology
BIOSCI 4620/6620 Cell Biology Laboratory
BIOSCI 8710/MICRO 8050 Ecology of Infectious Diseases (Co-Taught)
MICRO 8060 Great Plagues: Paradigms in Infectious Diseases (Co-Taught)


Dr. Kimberly Paul first heard about Tsetse flies as a child. Her father told many stories that involved Tsetse Fly, a bold worldly fellow with a big appetite. After that fanciful introduction, she was practically fated to work on African Sleeping Sickness, although it took her nearly 2 decades to get around to it.

She first entertained a medical career, but caught the science bug while working as an undergraduate researcher at Northwestern University. After graduating with a BA in Biology, Dr. Paul traveled east to Princeton University and earned her PhD in Molecular Biology working on protein and lipid trafficking inside the cell. While in graduate school, she attended a conference session on host-pathogen interactions that introduced her to the fascinating world of parasite biology. So inspired, she switched to the field of molecular parasitology, attending the prestigious Biology of Parasitism summer course at the Marine Biological Laboratory before starting her post-doctoral research at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. At Hopkins she finally came full circle and began working on African Sleeping Sickness.

Dr. Paul joined Clemson University in 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Genetics & Biochemistry department, and she is a founding member of the Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC). Her research team investigates fatty acid metabolism in trypanosomes, including Trypanosoma brucei, the causative agent of African Sleeping Sickness. Her teaching includes courses on biochemistry and eukaryotic pathogens. Whether in her research lab or through her teaching, Dr. Paul especially enjoys introducing students to the strange and wonderful world of parasites and the worthy cause of working on Neglected Tropical Diseases.

 Research Interests

Research Focus Areas:
Microbial Pathogenesis
Biochemistry and Metabolism
Cell Biology

Trypanosomes are single-celled eukaryotes that comprise both free-living and pathogenic species. We are currently studying three species of trypanosomes that present an array of life histories and host-pathogen interactions: Trypanosoma brucei, a mammalian pathogen transmitted by Tsetse flies that causes African Sleeping Sickness, Crithidia fasciculata, a mosquito pathogen, and Bodo saltans, a free-living trypanosome. My lab is interested in how trypanosomes modulate the metabolism of a key nutrient class, fatty acids, in response to its environment and during progression through its life cycle. Fatty acids are not only an important structural component of membranes and a source of energy, but in the case of T. brucei at least, they also are implicated in immune evasion.

Relatively little is known about fatty acid metabolism in these evolutionarily ancient eukaryotes. Indeed, what we have learned about fatty acid synthesis in these organisms suggest that trypanosome fatty acid metabolic pathways may be quite diverged from higher eukaryotes, and therefore may be valuable for the identification of potential new drug targets for Trypanosome diseases, for improving our understanding of how basic metabolic processes have developed and evolved over time, and may contribute to a better understanding of these pathways as they function in mammals.

Currently, we are using a variety of genetic, biochemical, and cell biological tools to pursue questions in four main research areas:
(1) How do trypanosomes regulate fatty acid synthesis in response to the needs of the parasite and the environmental lipid supply?
(2) What is the role of fatty acid metabolism in pathogenesis and immune evasion in parasitic trypanosomes?
(3) What are the molecular mechanisms governing fatty acid uptake in trypanosomes?
(4) What are the components of the trypanosome lipid droplet machinery?

 Extension and Outreach

Dr. Paul has served as a parasitology consultant to the medical and academic community and has participated in scientific outreach activities with grade school students, high school students, and high school teachers.


Goldston, A.M., Sharma, A.I., Paul, K.S., and Engman, D.M. (2014) Acylation in Trypanosomatids: An Essential Process and Potential Drug Target. Trends in Parasitology 30(7): 350-360.

Parmenter, K.J., Vigueira, P.A., Morlock, C.K., Paul, K.S., and Childress, M.J. (2013) “Seasonal Prevalence of Hematodinium sp. Infections of Blue Crabs in Three South Carolina (USA) rivers.” Estuaries and Coasts 6(1): 174-191.

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.” International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and Drug Resistance 2: 225-229.

Tuten, H.C., Bridges, W.C., Paul, K.S., Adler, P.H. (2012) Bloodfeeding ecology of mosquitoes in zoos. Med. Vet. Entomol. 26(4): 407-416.

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

Vigueira, P.A., 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, 4427-443.

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.