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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:


Toxoplasma gondii Intravacuolar-Network-Associated Dense Granule Proteins Regulate Maturation of the Cyst Matrix and Cyst Wall.
Guevara RB, Fox BA, Falla A, Bzik DJ
mSphere. 2019 Oct 16;4(5) pii: e00487-19. doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00487-19. Epub 2019 Oct 16.
PMID: 31619500

Rhoptry and Dense Granule Secreted Effectors Regulate CD8+ T Cell Recognition of Toxoplasma gondii Infected Host Cells.
Rommereim LM, Fox BA, Butler KL, Cantillana V, Taylor GA, Bzik DJ
Front Immunol. 2019;10:2104. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.02104. Epub 2019 Sep 6.
PMID: 31555296

Toxoplasma gondii Parasitophorous Vacuole Membrane-Associated Dense Granule Proteins Orchestrate Chronic Infection and GRA12 Underpins Resistance to Host Gamma Interferon.
Fox BA, Guevara RB, Rommereim LM, Falla A, Bellini V, Petre G, Rak C, Cantillana V, Dubremetz JF, Cesbron-Delauw MF, Taylor GA, Mercier C, Bzik DJ
MBio. 2019 Jul 2;10(4) pii: e00589-19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00589-19. Epub 2019 Jul 2.
PMID: 31266861

CD40 in Endothelial Cells Restricts Neural Tissue Invasion by Toxoplasma gondii.
Portillo JC, Van Grol J, Saffo S, Lopez Corcino Y, Rodriguez M, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Ward NL, Dubyak GR, Rojas RE, Toosi Z, Subauste CS
Infect Immun. 2019 Aug;87(8) pii: e00868-18. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00868-18. Epub 2019 Jul 23.
PMID: 31109947

The dense granule protein 8 (GRA8) is a component of the sub-pellicular cytoskeleton in Toxoplasma gondii.
Diaz-Martin RD, Mercier C, Gomez de Leon CT, Gonzalez RM, Pozos SG, Rios-Castro E, Garcia RA, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Flores RM
Parasitol Res. 2019 Jun;118(6):1899-1918. doi: 10.1007/s00436-019-06298-7. Epub 2019 Apr 4.
PMID: 30949853

Glycolysis is important for optimal asexual growth and formation of mature tissue cysts by Toxoplasma gondii.
Shukla A, Olszewski KL, Llinas M, Rommereim LM, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Xia D, Wastling J, Beiting D, Roos DS, Shanmugam D
Int J Parasitol. 2018 Oct;48(12):955-968. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2018.05.013. Epub 2018 Aug 31.
PMID: 30176233

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

View more publications on PubMed