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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


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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 chitinase-like protein TgCLP1 regulates the parasite cyst burden.
Bando H, Murata Y, Han Y, Sugi T, Fukuda Y, Bzik DJ, Fox BA, Kato K
Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2024;14:1359888. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2024.1359888. Epub 2024 May 17.
PMID: 38828265

Protective efficacy of recombinant Toxoplasma gondii dense granule protein 15 against toxoplasmosis in C57BL/6 mice.
Hasan T, Shimoda N, Nakamura S, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Ushio-Watanabe N, Nishikawa Y
Vaccine. 2024 Apr 2;42(9):2299-2309. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2024.02.062. Epub 2024 Feb 29.
PMID: 38429153

From TgO/GABA-AT, GABA, and T-263 Mutant to Conception of Toxoplasma.
Lykins J, Moschitto MJ, Zhou Y, Filippova EV, Le HV, Tomita T, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Su C, Rajagopala SV, Flores K, Spano F, Woods S, Roberts CW, Hua C, El Bissati K, Wheeler KM, Dovgin S, Muench SP, McPhillie M, Fishwick CWG, Anderson WF, Lee PJ, Hickman M, Weiss LM, Dubey JP, Lorenzi HA, Silverman RB, McLeod RL
iScience. 2024 Jan 19;27(1):108477. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2023.108477. Epub 2023 Nov 16.
PMID: 38205261

Dense granule protein 3 of Toxoplasma gondii plays a crucial role in the capability of the tissue cysts of the parasite to persist in the presence of anti-cyst CD8(+) T cells during the chronic stage of infection.
Mani R, Abdelaziz MH, Ochiai E, Sa Q, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Suzuki Y
Front Immunol. 2023;14:1272221. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2023.1272221. Epub 2023 Oct 5.
PMID: 37868957

Cutting Edge: CD36 Mediates Phagocyte Tropism and Avirulence of Toxoplasma gondii.
Zhao Y, Reyes J, Rovira-Diaz E, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Yap GS
J Immunol. 2021 Sep 15;207(6):1507-1512. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2100605. Epub 2021 Aug 16.
PMID: 34400524

A Family of Toxoplasma gondii Genes Related to GRA12 Regulate Cyst Burdens and Cyst Reactivation.
Guevara RB, Fox BA, Bzik DJ
mSphere. 2021 Apr 21;6(2) doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00182-21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.
PMID: 33883265

Toxoplasma gondii dense granule protein GRA24 drives MyD88-independent p38 MAPK activation, IL-12 production and induction of protective immunity.
Mercer HL, Snyder LM, Doherty CM, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Denkers EY
PLoS Pathog. 2020 May;16(5):e1008572. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1008572. Epub 2020 May 15.
PMID: 32413093

Succinylated Wheat Germ Agglutinin Colocalizes with the Toxoplasma gondii Cyst Wall Glycoprotein CST1.
Guevara RB, Fox BA, Bzik DJ
mSphere. 2020 Mar 4;5(2) doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00031-20. Epub 2020 Mar 4.
PMID: 32132158

A simple and reliable method for determination of optimum pH in coupled enzyme assays.
Bowman L, Motamed R, Lee P, Aleem K, Berawala AS, Hayden KL, Bzik DJ, Chattopadhyay D
Biotechniques. 2020 Apr;68(4):200-203. doi: 10.2144/btn-2019-0126. Epub 2020 Feb 14.
PMID: 32056453

Toxoplasma gondii Parasitophorous Vacuole Membrane-Associated Dense Granule Proteins Regulate Maturation of the Cyst Wall.
Guevara RB, Fox BA, Bzik DJ
mSphere. 2020 Jan 15;5(1) doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00851-19. Epub 2020 Jan 15.
PMID: 31941814

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