Noelia Lander

Noelia Marina Lander , PhD

Assistant Professor

Rieveschl Hall

422QD

A&S Biological Sciences - 0006

Professional Summary

Research topics: Molecular Parasitology, trypanosomes, Trypanosoma cruzi, Chagas disease, cell signaling, calcium signaling, cAMP signaling, genome editing, CRISPR/Cas, environmental sensing, differentiation, host-parasite interactions.

Education

B.S. in Biology: Universidad Simon Bolivar. Caracas, Venezuela, 2002

M.S. in Biological Sciences: Universidad Simon Bolivar. Caracas, Venezuela, 2008

Ph.D. in Cellular Biology: University of Georgia. Athens, GA, 2013

Research and Practice Interests

Lander Lab website: https://homepages.uc.edu/~landerlab/wordpress/

Research in my laboratory focuses on the study of signal transduction pathways in trypanosomes, flagellated protozoan parasites that belong to the Kinetoplastida order. Different species of trypanosomes infect a variety of vertebrates, including animals and humans, and produce fatal diseases like sleeping sickness, caused by Trypanosoma brucei, and Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi.
 
Chagas disease is a life-threatening sickness affecting 6 to 7 million people worldwide, mostly in Latin America where this trypanosomiasis is endemic. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease or satisfactory treatment available. T. cruzi parasites are mainly transmitted to humans by contact with feces/urine of infected triatomine bugs. Oral infections by consumption of food contaminated with vector feces are also common. Vector-borne infections are confined to Latin America but an increasing number of seropositive cases have been reported in non-endemic countries. An estimated 300,000 people are currently infected in the United States, from which 45,000 exhibit cardiomyopathy, while most cases remain undiagnosed and untreated. Currently, there are only two accepted drugs to treat Chagas disease. Besides their adverse side effects, the efficacy of these drugs decreases the longer a person has been infected. Understanding T. cruzi biology is a key component to develop alternative strategies to diagnose and treat Chagas disease patients.

In addition to the importance of T. cruzi for human health, this parasite exhibits unique metabolic and structural characteristics that make it an attractive model of early divergent eukaryotic cells. The main stages of T. cruzi life cycle can be maintained in laboratory conditions and infection of tissue cultured host cells can be systematically performed. As a postdoctoral trainee one of my main contributions to science was the development of the methodology to perform genome editing in T. cruzi by CRISPR/Cas9. Using this system, we are now able to generate null mutants and perform endogenous C-terminal tagging, gene complementation and in situ mutagenesis in T. cruzi, which represents a tremendous improvement in the genetic manipulation of this parasite. In my laboratory, we combine genetic and biochemical approaches to dissect the specific function of proteins involved in calcium and cAMP signaling pathways in T. cruzi.
 
Calcium ion is an important second messenger in trypanosomatids that regulates a vast repertoire of cellular processes, including cell motility, host cell invasion, differentiation, osmoregulation and cell bioenergetics. Several proteins involved in calcium homeostasis have been identified in trypanosomes. However, the T. cruzi genome contains a wide variety of calcium-interacting uncharacterized proteins. 3',5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP) is another universal second messenger that mediates cell differentiation in T. cruzi. However, this signaling pathway is poorly understood in trypanosomes. During its life cycle T. cruzi alternates between a vertebrate host and an insect vector. To survive drastic environmental changes T. cruzi differentiates into four main developmental stages. How does the parasite sense those changes, what type of stimulus triggers specific cellular responses that lead to cell differentiation, and what is the role of the main proteins involved in calcium and cAMP signal transduction pathways, are some of the questions we pursue to answer.
 

Positions and Work Experience

2009 -2013 Graduate Research Assistant., University of Georgia, Department of Cellular Biology, Athens, GA

2014 -2014 Postdoctoral Research Associate., University of Georgia, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, Athens, GA

2014 -2018 Postdoctoral Fellow., State University of Campinas, School of Medical Sciences, Department of Clinical Pathology, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil

2018 -2020 Postdoctoral Research Associate., University of Georgia, Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, Athens, GA

01-01-2021 -To Present Assistant Professor., University of Cincinnati, Department of Biological Sciences., Cincinnati, OH

Research Support

Investigators:Noelia Lander 06-01-2008 -08-31-2008 Ellison Medical Foundation. Training Innovations in Parasitologic Studies (TIPS) Program. Expression and cellular localization of DGF-1 protein in Trypanosoma cruzi. Role:Graduate Fellow Completed Type:Fellowship

Grant: #10PRE4460067 Investigators:Noelia Lander 07-01-2010 -06-30-2012 American Heart Association Physiological role of VTC4 in polyphosphate metabolism of trypanosomatids Role:Predoctoral Fellow Completed Type:Fellowship

Grant: #12PRE12060508 Investigators:Noelia Lander 07-01-2012 -06-30-2013 American Heart Association Knockdown of TcVTC4: a strategy to study the biological role of a polyphosphate synthase in Trypanosoma cruzi Role:Predoctoral Fellow Completed Type:Fellowship

Grant: #2014/08995-4 Investigators:Noelia Lander 09-01-2014 -08-31-2018 São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP) Calcium signaling in trypanosomatids Role:Postdoctoral Fellow Completed Type:Fellowship

Grant: #R21 AI140421-01 Investigators:Roberto Docampo (PI), Noelia Lander 06-11-2018 -05-31-2021 NIH/NIAID Drug Target Validation in T. cruzi Role:Co-Investigator $ 412,500 Completed Type:Grant

Grant: #1 K99 AI137322-01A1 Investigators:Noelia Lander 09-01-2019 -09-01-2021 NIH/NIAID Large-scale CRISPR screening of essential calcium-related genes in the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi Role:PI $ 209,416 Completed Type:Grant

Grant: #1 4R00AI137322-03 Investigators:Noelia Lander 09-03-2021 -08-31-2023 NIH/NIAID Large-scale CRISPR screening of essential calcium-related genes in the human parasite T. cruzi Role:PI 498,000 Active Type:Grant

Grant: #R00AI137322 Investigators:Lander, Noelia 09-03-2021 -08-31-2023 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Large-scale CRISPR screening of essential calcium-related genes in the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi Role:PI 249000.00 Active Level:Federal

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Faktorová, Drahomíra; Nisbet, R Ellen R; Fernández Robledo, José A; Casacuberta, Elena; Sudek, Lisa; Allen, Andrew E; Ares, Manuel; Aresté, Cristina; Balestreri, Cecilia; Barbrook, Adrian C; Beardslee, Patrick; Bender, Sara; Booth, David S; Bouget, François-Yves; Bowler, Chris; Breglia, Susana A; Brownlee, Colin; Burger, Gertraud; Cerutti, Heriberto; Cesaroni, Rachele; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Clemente, Thomas; Coles, Duncan B; Collier, Jackie L; Cooney, Elizabeth C; Coyne, Kathryn; Docampo, Roberto; Dupont, Christopher L; Edgcomb, Virginia; Einarsson, Elin; Elustondo, Pía A; Federici, Fernan; Freire-Beneitez, Veronica; Freyria, Nastasia J; Fukuda, Kodai; García, Paulo A; Girguis, Peter R; Gomaa, Fatma; Gornik, Sebastian G; Guo, Jian; Hampl, Vladimír; Hanawa, Yutaka; Haro-Contreras, Esteban R; Hehenberger, Elisabeth; Highfield, Andrea; Hirakawa, Yoshihisa; Hopes, Amanda; Howe, Christopher J; Hu, Ian; Ibañez, Jorge; Irwin, Nicholas A T; Ishii, Yuu; Janowicz, Natalia Ewa; Jones, Adam C; Kachale, Ambar; Fujimura-Kamada, Konomi; Kaur, Binnypreet; Kaye, Jonathan Z; Kazana, Eleanna; Keeling, Patrick J; King, Nicole; Klobutcher, Lawrence A; Lander, Noelia; Lassadi, Imen; Li, Zhuhong; Lin, Senjie; Lozano, Jean-Claude; Luan, Fulei; Maruyama, Shinichiro; Matute, Tamara; Miceli, Cristina; Minagawa, Jun; Moosburner, Mark; Najle, Sebastián R; Nanjappa, Deepak; Nimmo, Isabel C; Noble, Luke; Novák Vanclová, Anna M G; Nowacki, Mariusz; Nuñez, Isaac; Pain, Arnab; Piersanti, Angela; Pucciarelli, Sandra; Pyrih, Jan; Rest, Joshua S; Rius, Mariana; Robertson, Deborah; Ruaud, Albane; Ruiz-Trillo, Iñaki; Sigg, Monika A; Silver, Pamela A; Slamovits, Claudio H; Jason Smith, G; Sprecher, Brittany N; Stern, Rowena; Swart, Estienne C; Tsaousis, Anastasios D; Tsypin, Lev; Turkewitz, Aaron; Turnšek, Jernej; Valach, Matus; Vergé, Valérie; von Dassow, Peter; von der Haar, Tobias; Waller, Ross F; Wang, Lu; Wen, Xiaoxue; Wheeler, Glen; Woods, April; Zhang, Huan; Mock, Thomas; Worden, Alexandra Z; Lukeš, Julius (2020. ) Genetic tool development in marine protists: emerging model organisms for experimental cell biology.Nature methods, , 17 (5 ) ,481-494 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Cruz-Bustos, Teresa; Docampo, Roberto (2020. ) A CRISPR/Cas9-riboswitch-Based Method for Downregulation of Gene Expression in Trypanosoma cruzi.Frontiers in cellular and infection microbiology, , 10 ,68 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A (2019. ) State-of-the-art CRISPR/Cas9 Technology for Genome Editing in Trypanosomatids.The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology, , 66 (6 ) ,981-991 More Information

Lerchner, Johannes; Sartori, Marina R; Volpe, Pedro O L; Lander, Noelia; Mertens, Florian; Vercesi, Anibal E (2019. ) Direct determination of anaerobe contributions to the energy metabolism of Trypanosoma cruzi by chip calorimetry.Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, , 411 (17 ) ,3763-3768 More Information

Chiurillo, Miguel A; Lander, Noelia; Bertolini, Mayara S; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2019. ) Functional analysis and importance for host cell infection of the Ca2+-conducting subunits of the mitochondrial calcium uniporter of Trypanosoma cruzi.Molecular biology of the cell, , 30 (14 ) ,1676-1690 More Information

Bertolini, Mayara S; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Lander, Noelia; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2019. ) MICU1 and MICU2 Play an Essential Role in Mitochondrial Ca2+ Uptake, Growth, and Infectivity of the Human Pathogen Trypanosoma cruzi.mBio, , 10 (3 ) , More Information

Negreiros, Raquel S; Lander, Noelia; Huang, Guozhong; Cordeiro, Ciro D; Smith, Stephanie A; Morrissey, James H; Docampo, Roberto (2018. ) Inorganic polyphosphate interacts with nucleolar and glycosomal proteins in trypanosomatids.Molecular microbiology, , 110 (6 ) ,973-994 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Bertolini, Mayara S; Storey, Melissa; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2018. ) Calcium-sensitive pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase is required for energy metabolism, growth, differentiation, and infectivity of Trypanosoma cruzi.The Journal of biological chemistry, , 293 (45 ) ,17402-17417 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Bertolini, Mayara S; Docampo, Roberto; Vercesi, Aníbal E (2018. ) The mitochondrial calcium uniporter complex in trypanosomes.Cell biology international, , 42 (6 ) ,656-663 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Vercesi, Aníbal E; Docampo, Roberto (2017. ) Endogenous C-terminal Tagging by CRISPR/Cas9 in Trypanosoma cruzi.Bio-protocol, , 7 (10 ) , More Information

Chiurillo, Miguel A; Lander, Noelia; Bertolini, Mayara S; Storey, Melissa; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2017. ) Different Roles of Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter Complex Subunits in Growth and Infectivity of Trypanosoma cruzi.mBio, , 8 (3 ) , More Information

Busanello, Estela N B; Marques, Ana C; Lander, Noelia; de Oliveira, Diogo N; Catharino, Rodrigo R; Oliveira, Helena C F; Vercesi, Anibal E (2017. ) Pravastatin Chronic Treatment Sensitizes Hypercholesterolemic Mice Muscle to Mitochondrial Permeability Transition: Protection by Creatine or Coenzyme Q10.Frontiers in pharmacology, , 8 ,185 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Storey, Melissa; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2016. ) CRISPR/Cas9-mediated endogenous C-terminal Tagging of Trypanosoma cruzi Genes Reveals the Acidocalcisome Localization of the Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate Receptor.The Journal of biological chemistry, , 291 (49 ) ,25505-25515 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Docampo, Roberto (2016. ) Genome Editing by CRISPR/Cas9: A Game Change in the Genetic Manipulation of Protists.The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology, , 63 (5 ) ,679-90 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Cordeiro, Ciro; Huang, Guozhong; Docampo, Roberto (2016. ) Polyphosphate and acidocalcisomes.Biochemical Society transactions, , 44 (1 ) ,1-6 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Li, Zhu-Hong; Niyogi, Sayantanee; Docampo, Roberto (2015. ) CRISPR/Cas9-Induced Disruption of Paraflagellar Rod Protein 1 and 2 Genes in Trypanosoma cruzi Reveals Their Role in Flagellar Attachment.mBio, , 6 (4 ) ,e01012 More Information

Ulrich, Paul N; Lander, Noelia; Kurup, Samarchith P; Reiss, Laura; Brewer, Jessica; Soares Medeiros, Lia C; Miranda, Kildare; Docampo, Roberto The acidocalcisome vacuolar transporter chaperone 4 catalyzes the synthesis of polyphosphate in insect-stages of Trypanosoma brucei and T. cruzi.The Journal of eukaryotic microbiology, , 61 (2 ) ,155-65 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Ulrich, Paul N; Docampo, Roberto (2013. ) Trypanosoma brucei vacuolar transporter chaperone 4 (TbVtc4) is an acidocalcisome polyphosphate kinase required for in vivo infection.The Journal of biological chemistry, , 288 (47 ) ,34205-16 More Information

Docampo, Roberto; Jimenez, Veronica; Lander, Noelia; Li, Zhu-Hong; Niyogi, Sayantanee (2013. ) New insights into roles of acidocalcisomes and contractile vacuole complex in osmoregulation in protists.International review of cell and molecular biology, , 305 ,69-113 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Bernal, Carolina; Diez, Nardy; Añez, Néstor; Docampo, Roberto; Ramírez, José Luis (2010. ) Localization and developmental regulation of a dispersed gene family 1 protein in Trypanosoma cruzi.Infection and immunity, , 78 (1 ) ,231-40 More Information

Peña, C P; Lander, N; Rodríguez, E; Crisante, G; Añez, N; Ramírez, J L; Chiurillo, M A (2009. ) Molecular analysis of surface glycoprotein multigene family TrGP expressed on the plasma membrane of Trypanosoma rangeli epimastigotes forms.Acta tropica, , 111 (3 ) ,255-62 More Information

Rodríguez, Evelyn; Lander, Noelia; Ramirez, Jose Luis (2009. ) Molecular and biochemical characterisation of Trypanosoma cruzi phosphofructokinase.Memorias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, , 104 (5 ) ,745-8 More Information

Chiurillo, Miguel A; Lander, Noelia; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2020. ) IP3 receptor-mediated Ca2+ release from acidocalcisomes regulates mitochondrial bioenergetics and prevents autophagy in Trypanosoma cruzi.Cell calcium, , 92 ,102284 More Information

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Docampo, Roberto (2020. ) Signaling pathways involved in environmental sensing in Trypanosoma cruzi.Molecular microbiology, , More Information

Negreiros, Raquel S; Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Vercesi, Anibal E; Docampo, Roberto (2021. ) Mitochondrial Pyruvate Carrier Subunits Are Essential for Pyruvate-Driven Respiration, Infectivity, and Intracellular Replication of Trypanosoma cruzi.mBio, , 12 (2 ) , More Information

Ning, Yu; Frankfater, Cheryl; Hsu, Fong-Fu; Soares, Rodrigo P; Cardoso, Camila A; Nogueira, Paula M; Lander, Noelia Marina; Docampo, Roberto; Zhang, Kai (2020. ) Lathosterol Oxidase (Sterol C-5 Desaturase) Deletion Confers Resistance to Amphotericin B and Sensitivity to Acidic Stress in Leishmania major.mSphere, , 5 (4 ) , More Information

Chiurillo, Miguel A; Lander, Noelia (2021. ) The long and winding road of reverse genetics in Trypanosoma cruzi.Microbial cell (Graz, Austria), , 8 (9 ) ,203-207 More Information

Dave, Noopur; Cetiner, Ugur; Arroyo, Daniel; Fonbuena, Joshua; Tiwari, Megna; Barrera, Patricia; Lander, Noelia; Anishkin, Andriy; Sukharev, Sergei; Jimenez, Veronica (2021. ) A novel mechanosensitive channel controls osmoregulation, differentiation, and infectivity in Trypanosoma cruzi.eLife, , 10 , More Information

Dos Santos, Guilherme Rodrigo Rm; Rezende Leite, Ana Catarina; Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel Angel; Vercesi, Aníbal Eugênio; Docampo, Roberto (2021. ) Trypanosoma cruzi Letm1 is involved in mitochondrial Ca2+ transport, and is essential for replication, differentiation, and host cell invasion.FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, , 35 (7 ) ,e21685 More Information

Docampo, Roberto; Vercesi, Anibal E; Huang, Guozhong; Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Bertolini, Mayara (2021. ) Mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis in trypanosomes.International review of cell and molecular biology, , 362 ,261-289 More Information

Book Chapter

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Docampo, Roberto (2020 ) CRISPR/Cas9 Technology Applied to the Study of Proteins Involved in Calcium Signaling in Trypanosoma cruzi. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) .(pp. 177-197).

Lander, Noelia; Chiurillo, Miguel A; Docampo, Roberto (2019 ) Genome Editing by CRISPR/Cas9 in Trypanosoma cruzi. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) .(pp. 61-76).

Additional Publications

Editorial

Taylor, Martin Craig; Lander, Noelia; Yoshida, Nobuko (2020. ) Editorial: Unravelling T. cruzi Biology. (pp. 382).

Honors and Awards

2020 UGA Postdoctoral Research Award University of Georgia Status:Recipient Level:University