Congratulations to Animesh Dhara Ph.D.(postdoc) and Elizabeth Watts B.S. (lab manager) from the Sinai Lab for each having been recognized as presenting the best posters at the 13th International Congress on Toxoplasmosis and T. gondii Biology held in Gettysburg PA.  Animesh and Elizabeth’s posters were selected on the basis of both the quality of the work, its display and presentation.  The top 12 posters out of a total of 221 poster presentations were chosen by the attendees at the conference for this honor.

Dr. Animesh Dhara whose poster was titled, “A Toxoplasma deubiquitinase TgOTU1 regulates the fidelity of endodyogeny: a potential link between ubiquitination and the autophagy-like pathway.” discusses the biochemical characterization of a unique deubiquitinase and the effect its targeted deletion has on the fidelity of parasite replication.  Notably, the Animesh’s data reveals a previously unknown link between parasite replication (endodyogeny) and autophagy.  Animesh is currently writing up these results for publication.  Animesh has been in the Sinai laboratory since January 2013.

Ms. Elizabeth Watts presented her work on the chronic phase of Toxoplasma gondii infection in vivo mediated by the slow growing bradyzoite form of the parasite. Her presentation titled, “ Novel approaches reveal that Toxoplasma gondii bradyzoites within tissue cysts are dynamic and replicating entities in vivo”, tackles one of the major “black boxes” in our understanding of toxoplasma infections. This work is ready for submission for what promises to be a highly significant paper in the field. Elizabeth who graduated from EKU joined the Sinai laboratory as a lab technician in February 2013. She will be joining the graduate program at the University of Georgia in the Fall 2015.