Sara L Zimmer

PhD, Duluth Campus Faculty Liaison to the Medical School Office of Faculty Affairs

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Gene regulation and metabolism in kinetoplastids (trypanosomatid parasites)

Willing to speak to media


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Laboratory Mission Statement. We use molecular and biochemical approaches in discerning fundamental pathways of gene expression and their regulation in the Kinetoplastids, prokaryotic protozoans responsible for several neglected tropical diseases. We stress the utilization and/or adaptation of state-of-the art technologies to solve long-standing questions in the molecular parasitology field, knowing that this is the most effective way to move the field forward. The basic knowledge we acquire is an essential platform from which others or ourselves can build programs in anti-parasitic drug discovery. Additionally, training scientists in basic research will allow our mission to extend to other fields, as these students and trainees move on to future positions.  Finally, we believe in collaboration between lab members and with others in multiple scientific disciplines as the way to make optimal progress in today’s research environment.

Research overview. Many parasitic human pathogens are vector transmitted including T. cruziT. brucei, and the closely related Leishmania spp. T. cruzi is transmitted by the “kissing bug” and T. brucei by the tsetse fly. The environments of the human and insect hosts differ in temperature, pH, immune defenses, osmolarity, and nutrient availability. Therefore, trypanosomes transition through different life stages at which they are adapted to cope with the unique conditions of that stage. Often the same trypanosome species in different life stages appears morphologically very different, and metabolism differs to cope the nutrient availability of the environment. We study the trypanosome gene expression changes that are necessary for survival at different life stages.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Cornell Unversity

Award Date: Apr 1 2008

BS, Michigan Technological University

Award Date: May 1 1996

SUNY Buffalo

Sep 1 2008Aug 20 2013

Boyce Thompson Institute

May 1 2003Jun 30 2008

External Positions

Member, RNA Society

Fingerprint The Fingerprint is created by mining the titles and abstracts of the person's research outputs and projects/funding awards to create an index of weighted terms from discipline-specific thesauri.

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Research Output

Revisiting Trypanosome Mitochondrial Genome Mysteries: Broader and Deeper

Zimmer, S. L., Feb 2019, In : Trends in Parasitology. 35, 2, p. 102-104 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

  • 2 Scopus citations

    Gene expression to mitochondrial metabolism: Variability among cultured Trypanosoma cruzi strains

    Kalem, M. C., Gerasimov, E. S., Vu, P. K. & Zimmer, S. L., May 2018, In : PloS one. 13, 5, e0197983.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 3 Scopus citations

    High throughput sequencing revolution reveals conserved fundamentals of U-indel editing

    Zimmer, S. L., Simpson, R. M. & Read, L. K., Sep 1 2018, In : Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA. 9, 5, e1487.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Open Access
  • 7 Scopus citations
  • 4 Scopus citations

    Trypanosomatid mitochondrial RNA editing: Dramatically complex transcript repertoires revealed with a dedicated mapping tool

    Gerasimov, E. S., Gasparyan, A. A., Kaurov, I., Tichý, B., Logacheva, M. D., Kolesnikov, A. A., Lukeš, J., Yurchenko, V., Zimmer, S. L. & Flegontov, P., Jan 25 2018, In : Nucleic acids research. 46, 2, p. 765-781 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 9 Scopus citations


    • 1 Types of Award - Prize (including medals and awards)
    • 1 Other

    Center for Women in Science and Medicine - Leadership Team

    Sara L Zimmer (Member)

    Jan 1 2019 → …

    Activity: Other activity typesOther

    Alexander Dubcek Travel Award

    Sara L Zimmer (Recipient)


    Activity: Other activity typesTypes of Award - Prize (including medals and awards)

    Press / Media

    Experts Say Everyone Should Be Wearing Masks to Slow Spread of COVID-19

    Sara L Zimmer


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Research is a full-time job for some UMD students

    Sara L Zimmer


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Fellowships, Honors, and Prizes

    American Heart Association Research Leaders Academy

    Zimmer, Sara L (Recipient), 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)