Tolia Lab Research

The Tolia Laboratory study the pathogenesis of infectious disease from atom to host-pathogen interaction.


We use the tools of structural biology, biochemistry, biophysics, and microbiology to examine proteins and protein complexes associated with pathogenesis.


One major focus is to define the molecular mechanisms required for the pathogenesis of malaria. Malaria affects half the world`s population, leads to 300-500 million cases per year, and results in approxiamately 1 million deaths annually. A majority of fatalities are in children under the age of five.


A second major focus is to define the mechanisms of bacterial drug resistance to available antibiotics. Drug resistance has emerged as a major global threat to the control of previously routine infections.


We pursue four areas of research:

Host-pathogen interactions Pathogens, in particular malaria parasites, must interact with the host for survival. We aim to uncover and exploit these interactions to prevent disease.

Neutralizing Antibodies Antibodies play key roles in protection against infectious disease. We aim to determine the mechanisms of productive antibody neutralization of parasites and bacteria.

Antigen Engineering Producing antigens that focus the immune response to protective epitopes is critical for future vaccines. We aim to design and engineer novel antigens that will lead to protection.

Drug Resistance Pathogens have acquired various methods to resist available drugs and therapies. We aim to define drug resistance to aid in the arms race against drug resistant pathogens.


Please visit our website for more information.