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Researcher | Research Overview

Dr. Dvorin’s research focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.  The major goal of the Dvorin lab is to identify fundamental biological processes within the parasite life cycle.  One of these fundamental processes is the regulated and efficient egress from human erythrocytes that occurs during asexual replication.  The parasite relies on egress for a sequential round of invasion; this allows exponential expansion of the parasite during the blood-stage of malaria.  Parasite egress requires a calcium-mediated signal, but the proteins that mediate the critical calcium-dependent steps of parasite egress have not been fully identified or characterized. Using genetic, cell biological, and novel molecular biology techniques, the Dvorin lab is interested in multiple aspects of parasite egress from an infected human erythrocyte.

Researcher | Research Background

Dr. Jeffrey Dvorin received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Brown University.  He then attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to pursue a combined M.D./Ph.D. in the Medical Scientist Training Program.  During his graduate work, he studied the mechanisms of nuclear entry for the human immunodeficiency virus in the laboratory of Michael Malim.  He completed his pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and then moved to the Children’s Hospital Boston for his fellowship in Pediatric Infectious Diseases.  After finishing his clinical fellowship year in June 2007, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Manoj Duraisingh in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health to study the molecular pathogenesis of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.  His research focused on developing novel genetic techniques to understand P. falciparum growth and replication with the ultimate goal of identifying new therapies for malaria.  In Dr. Duraisingh’s laboratory, Dr. Dvorin identified an essential kinase for P. falciparum replication PfCDPK5 that is potentially an ideal target for rational design of anti-malarial medications. 

Selected Publications

  1. Dvorin JD, Martyn DC, Patel SD, Grimley JS, Collins CR, Hopp CS, Bright AT, Westenberger S, Winzeler E, Blackman MJ, Baker DA, Wandless TJ, Duraisingh MT. A plant-like kinase in Plasmodium falciparum regulates parasite egress from erythrocytes. Science 2010; 328(5980): 910-912
  2. Dvorin JD, Bei AK, Coleman BI, Duraisingh MT. Functional diversification between two related Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion ligands is determined by changes in the cytoplasmic domain. Molecular Microbiology 2010; 75(4): 990-1006.
  3. Dong C, Patel V, Yang JC, Dvorin JD, Duraisingh MT, Clardy J, Wirth DF. Type II NADH dehydrogenase of the respiratory chain of Plasmodium falciparum and its inhibitors. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2009; 19: 972-975.
  4. Patel V, Booker M, Kramer M, Ross L, Celatka CA, Kennedy LM, Dvorin JD, Duraisingh MT, Sliz P, Wirth DF, Clardy J. Identification and characterization of small molecule inhibitors of Plasmodium falciparum dihydroorotate dehydrogenase. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2008; 283(50): 35078-35085.
  5. Estivariz CF, Park SY, Hageman JC, Dvorin JD, Melish MM, Arpon R, Coon P, Slavish S, Kim M, McDougal LK, Jensen B, McAllister S, Lonsway D, Killgore G, Effler PE, Jernigan DB. Emergence of community-associated methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Hawaii, 2001-2003. Journal of Infection 2007; 54: 349-357.
  6. Dvorin JD, Bell P, Maul GG, Yamashita M, Emerman M, Malim MH.  Reassessment of the roles of integrase and the central DNA flap in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 nuclear import. Journal of Virology 2002; 76(23): 12087-12096.
  7. Bouyac-Bertoia M*, Dvorin JD*, Fouchier RAM, Jenkins J, Meyer BE, Wu LI, Emerman M, Malim MH. HIV-1 infection requires a functional integrase NLS. Molecular Cell 2001; 7: 1025-1035.

* Co-first authors

Researcher | Publications