About our Research

The Heaslip lab is focused on understanding the biology of human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii, an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite and the causative agent of Toxoplasmosis.

T. gondii is transmitted to humans through consumption of raw or undercooked meat or ingestion of oocysts from soil or litter boxes in which infected cats have defecated.

Approximately 1 in 5 people worldwide are chronically infected with the parasite. Although infections in immune competent individuals are often asymptomatic, T. gondii causes life-threatening disease in immunocompromised persons. Additionally, if acute infection occurs during pregnancy, the parasite can be transmitted to the fetus causing blindness, brain damage or death.

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Featured News

Aoife, Irio and Jacob attended the Boston Area Parasitology Symposium!

The Boston Area Parasitology Symposium (BAPS) is a seasonal symposium designed to gather the community of scientists studying parasitology from the greater Boston area to discuss ideas and share current research.  Dr. Aoife Heaslip gave a fantastic talk on the exciting research ongoing within the Heaslip lab!

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