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Roberta M. O'Connor, PhD


Overview

Training + Education University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
Gender Female

Honors + Awards

2009, Tufts Medical Center Research Fund
2008, Charlton Grant, Tufts Medical Center
2003, Max Finland Award, Massachusetts Infectious Diseases Society
2002, Pilot/Feasibility Award, The NIH Digestive Disease Center at Tufts Medical Center
2001, Natalie V. Zucker Award, Tufts University School of Medicine

Publications + National Presentations

R.M. O’Connor, J.M. Fung, K.H. Sharp, J. Benner, C. McClung, S. Cushing, E. Lamkin, A. Fomenkov, B. Henrissat, Y. Londer, M. B. Scholz, J. Posfai, S. Malfatti, S.G. Tringe, T. Woyke, R.R. Malmstrom, D. Coleman-Derr, M.A. Altamia, S. Dedrick, S. T. Kaluziak, M.G. Haygood and D.L. Distel. Gill bacteria enable a novel digestive strategy in a wood-feeding mollusk. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Nov 10. pii: 201413110.

Paluszynski, J., Monahan, Z., Williams, M., Lai, O. Morris, C. Burns, P and O’Connor, RM*. Biochemical and functional characterization of CpMuc4, a Cryptosporidium surface antigen that binds to host epithelial cells. Mol. Biochem Parasitol. 193(2):114-21, 2014

Wanyiri, J.W., Kanyi, H., Maina, S., Wang, D.E., Steen, A., Mungai, A., Gachuhi, K., O’Connor, RM, Mwamburi, M., Wamae, N. and Ward, H.D. Cryptosporidiosis in HIV/AIDS patients in Kenya. AJTMH, 91(2):319-28, 2014.

Lai, O., Morris, C., Ahmed, S., Karim, M.M., Khan, W., Ward, H. and O’Connor, RM*. Serum antibody responses to a polymorphic Cryptosporidium mucin antigen in Bangladeshi children with cryptosporidiosis. AJTMH, 85:464-70, 2011

O’Connor R. M, P.B. Burns, T. Ha-Ngoc, K. Scarpato, W. Khan, G. Kang, and H. Ward. The polymorphic mucin antigens CpMuc4 and CpMuc5 are integral to Cryptosporidium parvum infection in vitro. Eukaryotic Cell, 8:461-469, 2009. (PMID: 19168754)

O’Connor, R.M., Kim, K., Khan, F., and Ward, H. Expression of Cpgp40/15 in Toxoplasma gondii: a surrogate system for the study of Cryptosporidium glycoprotein antigens. Infect Immun, 71:6027-34, 2003.

O’Connor, R.M. and Allred, D.R. Selection of Babesia bovis-infected erythrocytes for adhesion to endothelial cells coselects for altered variant erythrocyte surface antigen isoforms. J Immunol, 164:2037-45, 2000.

Professional Memberships

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Research Focus

My laboratory conducts research on host-pathogen interactions of the zoonotic apicomplexan parasite, Cryptosporidium. Our work encompasses both basic and translational research on mucosal innate immune responses and molecular mechanisms of host cell invasion. We also have an ongoing drug discovery project that involves screening compounds produced by symbiotic bacteria of marine mollusks for anti-parasitic activity.

Contact Information

Phone: 617-636-2684