Faculty: Biography

Kojo Mensa-Wilmot, Ph.D.
Professor and Head
Cellular Biology
Address: Biological Sciences Building
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 30602
Office: Room 724
Phone: (706) 542-3356
Email: mensawil@uga.edu
Biosketch
Ph.D. Biochemistry/Mol. BiologyJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimore, MD1988
Post-doctoral Experience
Rockefeller Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Parasitology, Johns Hopkins Medical School, Baltimore, Md, 1988-91
Honors and Awards
Burroughs Wellcome Fund New Investigator Award in Molecular Parasitology, 1994-97
Research Interests
The protozoans Trypanosoma brucei and Leishmania species are parasites of humans. T. brucei causes human African trypanosomiasis, and Leishmania infections manifest as a range of symptoms from cutaneous lesions to visceral disease. New drugs are needed for chemotherapy of these tropical diseases, because drugs in current use are dated and can be very toxic. We study the molecular and cell biology of these parasites with the goal of unearthing pathways can be exploited for drug discovery and development. Our studies of protein import into the endoplasmic reticulum of T. brucei, and intracellular signaling in the parasite have led to discovery of several novel anti-trypanosomal lead drugs.
Representative Publications
Stanton, J.D. and K. Mensa-Wilmot, AUG-proximal nucleotides regulate protein synthesis in Leishmania tropica. Mol Microbiol, 2006. 61(3): p. 691-703.

Subramanya, S. and K. Mensa-Wilmot, Regulated cleavage of intracellular glycosylphosphatidylinositol in a trypanosome. FEBS J, 2006. 273(10): p. 2110-26.

Zheng, Z., R.K. Tweten, and K. Mensa-Wilmot, Intracellular glycosylphosphatidylinositols accumulate on endosomes: toxicity of alpha-toxin to Leishmania major. Eukaryot Cell, 2005. 4(3): p. 556-66.

Zheng, Z., et al., Endosomes, Glycosomes, and Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Catabolism in Leishmania major. J Biol Chem, 2004. 279(40): p. 42106-13.

Stanton, J.D., M.B. Rashid, and K. Mensa-Wilmot, Cysteine-less glycosylphosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C is inhibited competitively by a thiol reagent: evidence for glyco-mimicry by pchloromercuriphenylsulphonate.
Biochem J, 2002. 366(Pt 1): p. 281-8.
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