Zimmer Lab

Zimmer Lab Group Picture

My educational interests are microbiology, infectious disease and global rural health.

Group of six people with arms around each other

The focus of our molecular parasitology laboratory is trypanosomes. These vector-borne protozoan parasites cause World Health Organization-designated Neglected Tropical Diseases that are endemic to poor, rural populations and for which new drug targets are urgently needed. The laboratory studies the stability and degradation of RNA, an important control point of trypanosome gene expression as transcription of both mitochondrial and nuclear genomes is constitutive in these organisms.


Zimmer Lab Lab Work





Zimmer Group News

2018-11-19     Congratulations to undergraduate Sean Faacks, who was awarded a UROP Fellowship for Spring 2019 for his proposed project about RNA binding protein domains in T. brucei.

2018-10-26     PhD candidate Clara Smoniewski presents her poster on trypanosome mitochondrial poly(A) polymerases and their activities at the Rustbelt RNA Meeting in Columbus, OH.

2018-06-28     Emily Susa owns this Medical School Annu al Picnic.Woman with plate of food walks through a campus picnic area

2018-06-18     Dr. Roger Ramirez-Barrios is awarded a 2018 Para Tryp travel fellowship to present a talk at the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists 63rd Annual Meeting in Denver, CO in July.

2018-05-14     Master of Science candidate Charles Liggett will give his public thesis seminar entitled "Powerhouse in Flux: Changes in Mitochondrial RNA Proessing During Starvation in Trypanosoma cruzi". 3PM, Room 130, School of Medicine.

2018-04027     The Zimmer laboratory is well-represented in the Integrated Biosciences Art Show. Thank you Emily and Clara for contributing.

Art - drawings and phography - hanging on a textured wall

2018-01-10     The Zimmer laboratory is grateful for a grant from the NIH-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases awarded to Dr. Sara Zimmer for investigation of post-transcriptional nucleotide addition on trypanosomatid mitochondrial mRNAs.

2017-11-02     Pam Vu (undergraduate) presents her poster entitled "Identifying the role of EEP1 protein in Trypanosoma brucei " at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students 2017 in Phoenix. Here she is with Dr. Ben Clarke, Director of the Pathways to Advanced Degrees in Life Sciences program.

Two scientists standing next to scientific poster

2017-10-25     The Zimmer lab welcomed Dr. Scott Lindner, who studies Plasmodium molecular biology, to the Medical School as part of the Academic Health Center Seminar Series. Great hiking and great science!

2017-10-19     Dr. Sara Zimmer, along with colleagues Dr. Ben Clarke (Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus), and Dr. Jackson Sparks (High Point University) present the Scientific Symposium "Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases: From Molecules to Organisms" at the SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference in Salt Lake City. It was an honor to meet so many talented and committed SACNISTAs!

2017-10-13     Emily Susa presents her poster on mitochondrial gene expression in intracellular T. cruzi at the 2017 Rustbelt RNA meeting, held this year in Indianapolis.

2017-09-12     On behalf of a collaboration of U.S., Czech, and Russian investigators, Dr. Sara Zimmer presents "A bird's-eye view of trypanosomatid editing" at the Twenty-Ninth Molecular Parasitology Meeting in Woods Hole, MA.

2017-08-21     The lab welcomes Clara Smoniewski, 2012 graduate of Northland College (Ashland, WI), as a PhD candidate in Integrated Biosciences.

2017-08-01     The lab welcomes Dr. Roger Ramirez-Barrios as a Visiting Scholar.

2017-04-25     Murat Kalem and Dr. Sara Zimmer present talks entitled "Metabolism and the maxicircle genome: exploring potential relationships using Trypanosoma cruzi strain variability" and "Deep analysis of tails on Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial transcripts reveals life stage as well as transcript-specific regulation" at the Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology VII in Woods Hole, MA.

2017-05-11     Current Zimmer lab graduate student Emily Susa and former undergraduate Rebecca Madden are this year's Annette Boman Fellowship Award recipients.

2017-04-03     Murat Kalem, former undergraduate (Jan 2017) and current technician, accepts his offer of admission to the PhD Program in Biomedical Sciences at University at Buffalo (SUNY) starting Fall 2017.

2016-10-14     The lab's presentation at the Rustbelt RNA Meeting, marks first participation of University of Minnesota researchers in this fantastic meeting.

2016-07-01     The Zimmer laboratory is grateful for an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant awarded to Dr. Sara Zimmer for Chagas disease research.

2016-06-24     The lab welcomes its second graduate student: Emily Masters, graduate of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

2016-06-19     A great time was had by all attendees of TryTax2 in Ostrava, CZ, where one of our projects was presented.

2016-06-06     The lab welcomes its first graduate student: Charlie Liggett, graduate of St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN.

2016-04-23     Murat Kalem presents a talk entitled "Strain specific differences in Typanosoma cruzi culture metacyclogenesis" at the American Society for Microbiology Intermountain Branch Meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2016-04-04     Undergraduate Bailey Rasumussen receives a Summer Undergradate Research Program (SURP) fellowship through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Minnesota Duluth.

2016-02-17     Collaboration with Czech colleagues at University of Ostrava begins with an award from the Alexander Dubcek Fundfor travel in June 2016.

2016-02-12     Generous support from Illumina and the University of Minnesota Genomics Center NGS Pilot Project Grant Program allows us to pursue a promising new research direction.

2016-01-30     One of our intriguing trypanosomes is in the National news! National Public Radio reports on the evolution of Trypanosoma brucei gambiense.

2015-09-28     Dr. Aubie Shaw receives International Travel Grant from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance, University of Minnesota, to cover portions of travel to XXXI Annual Meeting of the Brazilian Society of Protozoology and XLII Annual Meeting on Basic Research in Chagas' Disease. She has been selected to give a talk from among submitted meeting abstracts.

2015-08-25     Rebecca Madden and Murat Kalem have their summer BURST fellowship experience in the Zimmer Lab profiled as a University of Minnesota-Duluth press release. The BURST program was also featured in the Duluth News Tribune.       

2015-06-24     Dr. Aubie Shaw is selected as a ParaTryp Research Travel Award Recipient.

2015-04-25     Drs. Aubie Shaw and Sara Zimmer attend Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology VI in Woods Hole, MA, where Aubie gives a talk on her work on T. cruzi mitochondrial gene expression.

2015-01-01     The Zimmer Laboratory is awarded a Whiteside Institute for Clinical Research Grant.