Laboratory for the Molecular and Biochemical Studies on Giardia lamblia

The research in our laboratory studies the biology of the waterborne parasite, Giardia lamblia, by using molecular and biochemical approaches. 

This protist is found in freshwater lakes and streams throughout Canada, and it infects humans, domestic animals, and wildlife.  Vegetables and fruits can become contaminated with Giardia through the use of manure-based fertilizers and tainted irrigation water. 

Drugs currently available to treat Giardia are highly toxic especially to developing fetuses in pregnant women.  The major problem in finding an effective and non-toxic drug for treatment is that Giardia and humans are both eukaryotes and thus, share many biological pathways.  Consequently, any drug that would affect Giardia’s health would also affect the health of humans.  One approach to developing a drug that would only affect Giardia would be to look for biological targets that are unique to this parasite. 

At present, we are focusing on regulators of the Giardia cell cycle, and the identification and characterization of Giardia transcription factors.  We also have several projects involving the characterization of potential giardial heme-binding proteins in collaboration with

Dr. Steven Rafferty at Trent University.

Positions for graduate students are available

Please contact me ( if you are interested in joining my laboratory.  No research experience is necessary but the student must have enthusiasm and willingness to learn.  Full financial support is offered for qualified applicants for M.Sc. and Ph.D. studies.

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