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David J. Bzik, PhD

Professor of Microbiology and Immunology

Microbiology and Immunology

Pennsylvania State University, PHD 1983
Pennsylvania State University, MS 1980
Lehigh University, BA 1977

Dr. Bzik received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Lehigh University in 1977, and his Ph.D. degree in Biophysics from the Pennsylvania State University in 1983. After postdoctoral work as a European Molecular Biology Organization long-term fellow at the MRC Virology Unit at Glasgow University, Dr. Bzik joined the faculty of the Department of Microbiology at Dartmouth Medical School in 1988.

Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Programs


Contact Information:

Dartmouth Medical School
Borwell Research Bldg. HB 7556
1 Medical Center Drive
Lebanon NH 03756

Phone: 603-650-7951
Fax: 603-650-6223
Email: David.J.Bzik@Dartmouth.EDU

Professional Interests:


Our major research interests involve the molecular mechanisms of parasite pathogenesis. We focus on the protozoan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum. These apicomplexan parasites represent a paradigm of obligate intracellular infectious disease agents. Plasmodium falciparum causes a devastating form of human malaria which infects vast numbers of people and causes significant morbidity (adults and children) and mortality (mainly children). Toxoplasma gondii infection causes severe congenital defects in infants and death in HIV/AIDS patients. Current research projects include the following: developmental regulation of parasite virulence factors; identification of new parasite virulence determinants; development of new tools to facilitate genetic analysis of parasite pathogens; mechanisms, regulation and drug discovery in pyrimidine and purine acquisition pathways; design of vaccine components based on secreted antigens; novel parasite enzymes: mechanisms, regulation and drug discovery; creation and evaluation of live attenuated parasite vaccines; taming and targeting parasites for cancer gene therapy. Visit the Molecular Pathogenesis Website.

Selected Publications:


Cancer therapy in a microbial bottle: Uncorking the novel biology of the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii.
Fox BA, Butler KL, Guevara RB, Bzik DJ
PLoS Pathog. 2017 Sep;13(9):e1006523. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006523. Epub 2017 Sep 14.
PMID: 28910406

Lactate dehydrogenase in Toxoplasma gondii controls virulence, bradyzoite differentiation, and chronic infection.
Abdelbaset AE, Fox BA, Karram MH, Abd Ellah MR, Bzik DJ, Igarashi M
PLoS One. 2017;12(3):e0173745. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173745. Epub 2017 Mar 21.
PMID: 28323833

Endothelial cells are a replicative niche for entry of Toxoplasma gondii to the central nervous system.
Konradt C, Ueno N, Christian DA, Delong JH, Pritchard GH, Herz J, Bzik DJ, Koshy AA, McGavern DB, Lodoen MB, Hunter CA
Nat Microbiol. 2016 Feb 15;1:16001. doi: 10.1038/nmicrobiol.2016.1. Epub 2016 Feb 15.
PMID: 27572166

Pyrimidine Pathway-Dependent and -Independent Functions of the Toxoplasma gondii Mitochondrial Dihydroorotate Dehydrogenase.
Hortua Triana MA, Cajiao Herrera D, Zimmermann BH, Fox BA, Bzik DJ
Infect Immun. 2016 Oct;84(10):2974-81. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00187-16. Epub 2016 Sep 19.
PMID: 27481247

Phenotypes Associated with Knockouts of Eight Dense Granule Gene Loci (GRA2-9) in Virulent Toxoplasma gondii.
Rommereim LM, Bellini V, Fox BA, Petre G, Rak C, Touquet B, Aldebert D, Dubremetz JF, Cesbron-Delauw MF, Mercier C, Bzik DJ
PLoS One. 2016;11(7):e0159306. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159306. Epub 2016 Jul 26.
PMID: 27458822

Secretion of Rhoptry and Dense Granule Effector Proteins by Nonreplicating Toxoplasma gondii Uracil Auxotrophs Controls the Development of Antitumor Immunity.
Fox BA, Sanders KL, Rommereim LM, Guevara RB, Bzik DJ
PLoS Genet. 2016 Jul;12(7):e1006189. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1006189. Epub 2016 Jul 22.
PMID: 27447180

The Toxoplasma gondii Rhoptry Kinome Is Essential for Chronic Infection.
Fox BA, Rommereim LM, Guevara RB, Falla A, Hortua Triana MA, Sun Y, Bzik DJ
MBio. 2016 May 10;7(3) pii: e00193-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00193-16. Epub 2016 May 10.
PMID: 27165797

Attenuated <i>Toxoplasma gondii</i> therapy of disseminated pancreatic cancer generates long-lasting immunity to pancreatic cancer.
Sanders KL, Fox BA, Bzik DJ
Oncoimmunology. 2016 Apr;5(4):e1104447. Epub 2015 Oct 29.
PMID: 27141388

Serial Dissection of Parasite Gene Families.
Bzik DJ
Infect Immun. 2016 May;84(5):1252-1254. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00175-16. Epub 2016 Apr 22.
PMID: 26953326

Intravacuolar Membranes Regulate CD8 T Cell Recognition of Membrane-Bound Toxoplasma gondii Protective Antigen.
Lopez J, Bittame A, Massera C, Vasseur V, Effantin G, Valat A, Buaillon C, Allart S, Fox BA, Rommereim LM, Bzik DJ, Schoehn G, Weissenhorn W, Dubremetz JF, Gagnon J, Mercier C, Cesbron-Delauw MF, Blanchard N
Cell Rep. 2015 Dec 15;13(10):2273-86. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2015.11.001. Epub 2015 Nov 25.
PMID: 26628378