Sara Zimmer
,
Credentials
PhD

Associate Professor
Biography

Research Summary

The focus of our molecular parasitology laboratory is trypanosomes. Species of these vector-borne protozoan parasites cause World Health Organization-designated Neglected Tropical Diseases that are endemic to poor, rural populations and for which new drug targets are urgently needed. The laboratory studies aspects of their metabolism and mitochondrial gene expression, looking not only for vulnerabilities that may serve as new drug targets but also at processes that can inform our fundamental understanding of eukaryotic evolution.

Education

PhD, Cornell University
Major: Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology
BS, Michigan Technological University
Major: Biological Sciences/Chemical Engineering

Fellowships, Residencies, and Visiting Engagements

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Fellowship
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Postdoctoral Assistantship, Fellowship
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Graduate Research Assistantship, Other
Cornell University
Graduate Teaching Assistantship, Other
Cornell University
Graduate Research Assistantship, Other
Cornell University

Honors and Recognition

American Heart Association Research Leaders Academy
2017
Alexander Dubcek Travel Award
2016
Department of Biomedical Sciences Postdoctoral Mentor Award
2014
Poster Award, 2nd place, UB Postdoctoral Research Symposium, University at Buffalo, SUNY
2011
Felix Milgrom Postdoctoral Fellowship Award in Microbiology and Immunology, University at Buffalo, SUNY
2011
Poster Award, 2nd place, UB Postdoctoral Research Symposium, University at Buffalo, SUNY
2010
FASEB Summer Research Conference Graduate Poster Award
2006
Cornell Graduate Student Conference Grant, Cornell University
2006
Boyce Thompson Institute Retreat, 2nd place, Graduate and Postdoctoral Poster Competition (awarded as a graduate student) , Cornell University
2006
NIH Training Grant: 5T32GM007273 Predoctoral Training in Cellular Molecular Biology
2004
National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship: Honorable Mention
2003
NIH Training Grant: 5T32GM007273 Predoctoral Training in Cellular Molecular Biology
2002

Professional Memberships

American Heart Association
RNA Society
Selected Presentations

Selected Presentations

Zimmer, S. L., Gerasmiy, E. S., Flegontov, P., Kale, M. C. "Variable mitochondrial gene expression in the causative agent of Chagas disease: How and why", Gordon Conference on Mitochondria and Chloroplasts, Italy. July 01, 2018.
Zimmer, S. L. "Variable mitochondrial gene expression in the causative agent of Chagas disease: How and why", University of South Bohemia Department of Molecular Biology, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. March 06, 2018.
Zimmer, S. L. "Molecular and metabolic mysteries of a protozoan parasite", Border Biomedical Research Center at University of Texas El Paso, El Paso, Texas, December 01, 2017.
Zimmer, S. L. "Tropical infectious disease research in northern Minnesota", SACNAS National Diversity in STEM Conference 2017, Salt Lake City, Utah, October 01, 2017.
Gerasimov, E., Gasparyan, A., Zimmer, S. L., Flegontov, P. "Bird’s eye view of trypanosomatid RNA editing", International 29th Molecular Parasitology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, September 01, 2017.
Gerasimov, E., Gasparyan, A., Zimmer, S. L., Flegontov, P. "Bird’s eye view of trypanosomatid RNA editing", International 29th Molecular Parasitology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, September 01, 2017.
Zimmer, S. L. "Mechanisms and role of mitochondrial gene expression regulation in Trypanosoma cruzi", Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, April 11, 2016.
Zimmer, S. L. "Mitochondrial RNA tails: Lessons from Trypanosomes and the power of challenging assumptions", Department of Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, January 22, 2016.
Zimmer, S. L., Gazestani, V. H., Hampton, M., Shaw, A. K., Liggett, C., Salavati, R. "Deep analysis of tails on Trypanosoma brucei mitochondrial transcripts reveals life stage as well as transcript-specific regulation", Rustbelt RNA Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, January 01, 2016.
Zimmer, S. L., Shaw, A. K., Kalem, M. "Mitochondrial gene expression is responsive to starvation stress and developmental transition in Tryapnosoma cruzi", TryTax2 Meeting, Ostrava, Czech Republic. January 01, 2016.
Zimmer, S. L. "Mitochondrial RNA tails: Lessons from Trypanosomes?", Center for Infectious Disease and Translational Research (CIDMTR) Seminar Series, University of Minnesota Medical School. McGuire Translational Research Facility, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 10, 2015.
Zimmer, S. L. "Mitochondrial RNA tails: Lessons from Trypanosomes?", Czech Institute of Parasitology, České Budějovice, Czech Republic. October 28, 2015.
Zimmer, S. L. "Trypanosome gene regulation: An RNA-centric perspective", Michigan Technological University Department of Biological Sciences, Houghton, Michigan, December 05, 2014.
Zimmer, S. L. "TAIL-seq and circTAIL-seq: A better look at old "tales"", Genofest 2014, University of Minnesota Genomic Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 16, 2014.
Zimmer, S. L. "Trypanosome gene regulation: An RNA-centric perspective", University of Minnesota Duluth Department of Biology, Duluth, Minnesota, September 05, 2014.
Zimmer, S. L. "Trypanosome gene regulation: Questions and opportunity", Center for Infectious Disease and Translational Research (CIDMTR) Seminar Series, University of Minnesota Medical School. McGuire Translational Research Facility, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 04, 2014.
Zimmer, S. L., Shaw, A. K., Vahid, G. H., Salavati, R., Abrahante, J. E. "Decoding the association between trypanosome mitochondrial RNA 3’ tails and decay", FASEB Summer Conference, Big Sky, Montana, January 01, 2014.
Zimmer, S. L., Sakyiama, J., Read, L. K. "Homologue of a human mitochondrial deadenylase is a cytosolic ribonuclease in T. brucei", 5th Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, January 01, 2013.
Zimmer, S. L., Sakyiama, J., Ciganda, M., Williams, N., Read, L. K. "Biogenesis of the 60S ribosomal subunit of Trypanosoma brucei requires the 5’ to 3’ exoribonuclease family protein XRNE", 23rd Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, January 01, 2012.
Zimmer, S. L. "Toward a basic understanding of mitochondrial RNA decay in Trypanosomes", State University of New York. Department of Biology, Brockport, New York, November 10, 2011.
Zimmer, S. L., McEvoy, S. M., Read, L. K. "Delving the depths of mitochondrial RNA stability regulation by 3’ non-encoded tails", 4th Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, January 01, 2011.
Zimmer, S. L., McEvoy, S. M., Li, J., Qu, J., Read, L. K. "A novel member of the DEDDy exoribonuclease family functions in mitochondrial guide RNA maintenance in Trypanosoma brucei", FASEB Summer Conference, Arizona, January 01, 2010.
Zimmer, S. L., McEvoy, M. M., Menon, S. G., Read, L. K. "A mitochondrial RNase D family exoribonuclease from Trypanosoma brucei impacts both mRNAs and gRNAs", 3rd Kinetoplastid Molecular Cell Biology Meeting, Woods Hole, Massachusetts, January 01, 2009.
Zimmer, S. L., McEvoy, M. M., Read, L. K. "A novel mitochondrial RNase D family exoribonuclease that preferentially degrades oligo (U) tails", Trest Chateau, Czech Republic. January 01, 2009.
Zimmer, S. L., Stern, D. B. "Identification of enzymes mediating polyadenylation in the mRNA decay pathway in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii chloroplasts", FASEB Summer Conference, Colorado, January 01, 2006.