Faculty Profile

Dr. Louis M. Weiss, M.D.,  M.P.H.

Louis M. Weiss, M.D., M.P.H.

Professor, Department of Pathology

Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Codirector of the Einstein Global Health Center

Areas of Research: Toxoplasma gondii: Mechanisms of latency of infection. Structure and composition of the T. gondii cyst wall. Microsporidia: Mechanism of host cell invasion. Structure and composition of the polar tube and spore wall.

Professional Interests

Toxoplasma gondii, microsporidiosis, stage differentiation, polar tube structure and function

Toxoplasmosis: Toxoplasma gondii is a well described ubiquitous Apicomplexan protozoan parasite of mammals and birds.  Despite recent progress in understanding the biology and antigenic structure of the rapidly replicating form (tachyzoite), very little is known about the cyst form (bradyzoite). The bradyzoite stage of Toxoplasma gondii plays a critical role in maintenance of latent infection.   The identification of cyst wall specific protiens as well as stress related proteins and their effects on bradyzoite development is proceeding in the laboratory. 

 Microsporidiosis: The phylum Microspora consists of organisms collectively known as microsporidia, that are "emerging" human and veterinary pathogens.  A microsporidian-specific organelle, the polar tube, is involved in invasion. While the description of the polar tube as a unique microsporidian structure occurred over 100 years ago, the biochemical components of this structure and the mechanism of its formation during invasion remain to be definitively determined.  The laboratory is focused on projects invovling the: (1) characterization of the structure and composition of the polar tube and spore wall, and (2) the identificiation of therapeutic targets for the treatment of microsporidiosis. 

Selected Publications

Sugi T, Ma YF, Tomita T, Murakoshi F, Eaton MS, Yakubu R, Han B, Tu V, Kato K, Kawazu S, Gupta N, Suvorova ES, White MW, Kim K, Weiss LM. Toxoplasma gondii Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase Subunit 3 Is Involved in the Switch from Tachyzoite to Bradyzoite Development. MBio. 2016 May 31;7(3). pii: e00755-16. doi: 10.1128/mBio.00755-16. PMID: 27247232 PMCID: PMC4895117

El Bissati K, Suvorova ES, Xiao H, Lucas O, Upadhya R, Yan Fen Ma YF, Hogue Angeletti R, White MW, Weiss LM, Kim K Toxoplasma gondii arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1) regulates centrosome dynamics during tachyzoite cell division. MBio. 2016 Feb 2;7(1):e02094-15. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02094-15. PMID: 26838719 PMCID: PMC4742710

Silmon de Monerri NC, Yakubu RR, Chen AL, Bradley PJ, Nieves E, Weiss LM, Kim K. The Ubiquitin Proteome of Toxoplasma gondii Reveals Roles for Protein Ubiquitination in Cell-Cycle Transitions. Cell Host Microbe. 2015 Nov 11;18(5):621-33. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2015.10.014. PMID: 26567513

Tomita T, Bzik DJ, Ma YF, Fox BA, Markillie LM, Taylor RC, Kim K, Weiss LM.The Toxoplasma gondii cyst wall protein CST1 is critical for cyst wall integrity and promotes bradyzoite persistence.  PLoS Pathog. 2013 Dec;9(12):e1003823. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003823. PMID:24385904

Morada M, Lee S, Gunther-Cummins L, Weiss LM, Widmer G, Tzipori S, Yarlett N. Continuous culture of Cryptosporidium parvum using hollow fiber technology. Int J Parasitol. 2015 Sep 2. pii: S0020-7519(15)00220-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpara.2015.07.006. PMID: 26341006

Ma Y, Weiss LM, Huang H. Inducible suicide vector systems for Trypanosoma cruzi. Microbes Infect. 2015 Jun;17(6):440-50. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2015.04.003. Epub 2015 Apr 18. PMID: 25899945

Nardelli SC, Che FY, Silmon de Monerri NC, Xiao H, Nieves E, Madrid-Aliste C, Angel SO, Sullivan WJ Jr, Angeletti RH, Kim K, Weiss LM.  The Histone Code of Toxoplasma gondii Comprises Conserved and Unique Posttranslational Modifications. MBio. 2013 Dec 10;4(6). doi:pii: e00922-13. 10.1128/mBio.00922-13. PMID:24327343

Pombert JF,Selman M,Burki F,Bardell FT,Farinelli L,Solter LF,Whitman DW,Weiss LM, Corradi N, Keeling PJ.   Gain and loss of multiple functionally related, horizontally transferred genes in the reduced genomes of two microsporidian parasites.  Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jul 31;109(31):12638-43. Epub 2012 Jul 16. PMID:22802648

Ghosh K, Nieves E, Keeling P, CaliA, Weiss LM. A new vesicular compartment in Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Microbes Infect. 2012 Apr;14(4):324-8. PMID:22166342

Ghosh K, Nieves E, Keeling P, Pombert JF, CaliA, Weiss LM. A branching network of proteinaceous filaments within the parasitophorous vacuole of Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Encephalitozoon hellem. Infect Immun. 2011 Jan 10. PMID: 21220485

Bouzahzah B, Nagajyothi F, Ghosh K, Takvorian PM, CaliA, Tanowitz HB, Weiss LM. Interactions of Encephalitozoon cuniculi polar tube proteins. Infect Immun. 2010 Jun;78(6):2745-53. Epub 2010 Mar 22. PMID: 20308291

Alvarado JJ, Nemkal A, Sauder JM, Russell M, Akiyoshi DE, Shi W, Almo SC, Weiss LM. Structure of a microsporidian methionine aminopeptidase type 2 complexed with fumagillin and TNP-470. Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2009 Aug 4. PMID: 19660503

Weiss LM and Kim K (eds.) Toxoplasma gondii the model Apicomplexan: Methods and Applications,  Elsevier Press (Academic Press), 2nd edition, 2013.

Weiss LM and Becnel JJ (eds.) Microsporidia: Pathogens of Opportunity,  Wiley-Blackwell, 2014.

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
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Bronx, NY 10461

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Research Information

In the News

NPR quotes Dr. Louis Weiss on the importance of understanding health risks and travel advisories before planning a vacation.

CBSNews.com interviews Dr. Lou Weiss about a new blood test that determines whether a person's respiratory illness is caused by virus or bacteria.

More media coverage