John B. Dame
Infectious Diseases and Pathology
PO Box 110880
2015 SW 16th Ave
Gainesville, FL 32608-0880
FAX 352-392-7259 or 392-9704
- PhD, Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, 1977
- Postdoctoral fellowship, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1977-1980
As Department Chair of Infectious Diseases and Pathology, the goal of my administration is to develop an interactive team of academic scientists and pathologists to effectively teach microbiology, immunology and pathology to the rising generation of veterinary professionals and to pursue research opportunities at the interface of animal and human health. Recognized research foci of our departmental faculty include developing animal models of human disease and developing practical control methodologies such as vaccines and therapeutics for zoonotic and veterinary pathogens.
Research interests of the Dame lab include emerging and re-emerging pathogens of animals and man; molecular biology of the malaria parasite; drug and vaccine target identification in Plasmodium falciparum. Current projects include:
Assesment of roles for the plasmepsin family of aspartic proteases in the lifecycle of the malaria parasite. The long range goal of this project is to develop a novel class of antimalarial drugs that function by inhibiting the aspartic proteinases of the human malaria parasite. Our hypothesis is that one or more of these enzymes (called plasmepsins) perform(s) (an) essential function(s) in during the lifecycle of the parasite and that potential antimalarial drugs exist among inhibitors of these enzymes. Our studies are focused on identifying the biological functions of the various members of the plasmepsin family using a combination of genetic and classical biochemical approaches. Plasmepsins identified as performing essential functions are prepared as active recombinant enzymes, characterized by substrate and inhibitor kinetics, followed by structural studies, rational design of novel inhibitors and in vivo screening for inhibitor efficacy.
Contribute to vaccine development through preparing attenuated mutant parasites and analyzing the efficacy of novel anti-parasitic vaccine constructs to deliver protective T- and B- cell immunogens.
Additional publications here