Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics

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   Vivian M. Bellofatto, Ph.D.


Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics



I grew up in Montclair NJ, received my BS from Douglass College/Rutgers University, and completed a senior thesis under
the wonderful mentorship of Dr. Evelyn Witkin. After a year working as a Research Technician with Dr. Richard Burgess
at the U. of Wisconsin, I joined Dr. Lucy Shapiro's laboratory at Einstein College of Medicine for my PhD work in
Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Understanding the underpinnings of gene expression have been my enduring interest;
thus I transitioned from working on the differentiating bacterium, Caulobacter crescentus, in the Shapiro lab, to the
differentiating protozoan parasite, Trypanosome brucei. My post doctoral work in Dr. George Cross' laboratory of
Molecular Parasitology at the Rockefeller was the foundation for my independent work on gene expression in trypanosomes.
My laboratory at New Jersey Medical School has uncovered several of the molecular components of specific RNA polymerase
II-dependent genes that reside in the cell nucleus and specific protein-mRNA interactions that function in the cell
cytoplasm. Our goals are to develop therapies for the amelioration of neglected diseases that include trypanosomes and
related parasites, and to discover key pieces of the genetic regulatory networks that underlie biology.


Ph.D., 1984, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
B.S., 1977, Douglass College/Rutgers University