Picture of Laura J. Knoll

Laura J. Knoll

Professor, Dept. Medical Microbiology & Immunology, UW-Madison

Address: 1550 Linden Drive
Phone: (608) 262-3161
Office: 3303 Microbial Sciences Building
Email: ljknoll@wisc.edu

Department Webpage



  • B.A. - 1989; Saint Olaf College; Northfield, MN
  • Ph.D. - 1994; Washington University School of Medicine; St. Louis, MO
  • Postdoctoral Research- Stanford University; Stanford, CA

Research Interests

Molecular parasitology; Vaccine development for the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii

Research Focus

Our research centers on studying the host/pathogen interactions of the intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii. T. gondii is well known for causing encephalitis in immunocompromised patients and is a member of the coccidian family of parasites that include Plasmodium (causative agent of malaria) and Cryptosporidium (causative agent of diarrhea). My laboratory uses the latest technologies, including next generation sequencing and mass spectrometry, to uncover the parasite and host genes that are necessary for the establishment and maintenance of chronic infection in animals. We then use biochemistry, molecular and cell biology to define the how and why these pathogen and host genes are important.

Recent Publications

  • Theisen E, McDougal CE, Nakanishi M, Stevenson DM, Amador-Noguez D, Rosenberg DW, Knoll LJ, Sauer JD 2018. Cyclooxygenase-1 and -2 Play Contrasting Roles in -Stimulated Immunity. J. Immunol. 200(11):3729-3738 (PMC5964023)
  • Knoll LJ, Hogan DA, Leong JM, Heitman J, Condit RC 2018. Pearls collections: What we can learn about infectious disease and cancer. PLoS Pathog. 14(3):e1006915 (PMC5875890)
  • Wilson SK, Knoll LJ 2017. Patatin-like phospholipases in microbial infections with emerging roles in fatty acid metabolism and immune regulation by Apicomplexa. Mol. Microbiol. 107(1):34-46 (PMC5739999)
  • Milligan-Myhre K, Wilson SK, Knoll LJ 2016. Developmental change in translation initiation alters the localization of a common microbial protein necessary for Toxoplasma chronic infection. Mol. Microbiol. 102(6):1086-1098 (PMC5161674)
  • Rall G, Knoll LJ 2016. Development of Complex Models to Study Co- and Polymicrobial Infections and Diseases. PLoS Pathog. 12(9):e1005858 (PMC5015861)
  • Pittman KJ, Cervantes PW, Knoll LJ 2016. Z-DNA Binding Protein Mediates Host Control of Toxoplasma gondii Infection. Infect. Immun. 84(10):3063-70 (PMC5038082)
  • Knoll LJ 2016. Functional Analysis of the Rhoptry Kinome during Chronic Toxoplasma gondii Infection. MBio 7(3): (PMC4916387)
  • Knoll LJ 2016. Conveying Discovery to a Broad Audience. PLoS Pathog. 12(5):e1005425 (PMC4873215)
  • Pittman KJ, Knoll LJ 2015. Long-Term Relationships: the Complicated Interplay between the Host and the Developmental Stages of Toxoplasma gondii during Acute and Chronic Infections. Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Rev. 79(4):387-401 (PMC4557073)
  • Pittman KJ, Aliota MT, Knoll LJ 2014. Dual transcriptional profiling of mice and Toxoplasma gondii during acute and chronic infection. BMC Genomics 15:806 (PMC4177681)
  • View PubMed Publications
ARYZTACampbell Soup CompanyConAgra FoodsFonterraGeneral MillsGreat Lakes CheeseHormel Foods (Jennie-O Turkey Store)Johnsonville Foods Kerry Ingredients and FlavoursKraft Foods (Oscar Mayer Foods)Leprino FoodsPepsiCoSchreiber FoodsWayne Farms