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

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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

BS, Michigan Technological University

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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Projects 2015 2020

Trypanosoma cruzi
gene expression
Trypanosoma cruzi

Research Output 2001 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Revisiting Trypanosome Mitochondrial Genome Mysteries: Broader and Deeper

Zimmer, S. L., Feb 1 2019, In : Trends in Parasitology. 35, 2, p. 102-104 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalShort survey

Mitochondrial Genome

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
Trypanosoma cruzi
Electron Transport
Gene expression
Gene Expression
5 Citations (Scopus)

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
Messenger RNA
Guide RNA
Open Reading Frames
3 Citations (Scopus)
NADH Dehydrogenase
Trypanosoma brucei brucei
RNA Stability
Gene Expression Regulation
Electron Transport Complex IV
6 Citations (Scopus)

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
RNA Editing
High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
Messenger RNA

Activities 2016 2019

  • 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)


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

Sara L Zimmer (Recipient), 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Myocardial Infarction