Paredez, Alexander

Faculty Profile

First Name: 
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[field_fname-formatted] [field_lname-formatted]
Assistant Professor
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Alex Paredez

UW Biology

Box 351800

Seattle, WA 98195

Office Location: 

HCK 403

Office Phone: 
(206) 221-9197

Research Summary: 

My lab studies the cytoskeleton of Giardia intestinalisGiardia is an important parasite that affects a wide variety of animal hosts, including over 100 million (mostly impoverished) people each year. Treatment options are limited; therefore, the WHO has recognized giardiasis as a neglected disease. In addition to Giardia being a major parasite, this organism stands out as one of the most evolutionary divergent eukaryotes (from animals) that can be manipulated in the laboratory. While the majority of microtubule cytoskeleton components can be identified in the Giardia genome, none of the core set of homologous actin-binding proteins (e.g.: nucleators, motors, bundling, and severing proteins), can be found in Giardia. Yet, the Giardia actin cytoskeleton still has complex organization and is regulated by a single Rho family GTPase.   Moreover, the Giardia actin cytoskeleton has a conserved role in cellular organization, trafficking, and cytokinesis (novel mechanism without contractile ring or midbody).  Importantly the giardial actin cytoskeleton is both essential and highly divergent from that of humans; therefore, it represents an important potential target for treating this neglected disease and an opportunity to gain insight into evolution of the cytoskeleton.

Short Research Description: 
actin cytoskeleton of divergent protist
Areas of Interest: 
Cell Signaling & Cell/Environment Interactions
Gene Expression, Cell Cycle & Chromosome Biology
Genetics, Genomics & Evolution
<p> Giardia, actin, Rho familly GTPase, membrane trafficking, cytokinesis, G-Protein signaling, cytoskeleton, evolutionary cell biology</p>

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