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Victoria Bonnell

BMMB Graduate Student-Llinas Lab
Victoria Bonnell.
The Llinas Lab

About Me

I have a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a concentration in Cellular Physiology and minors in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics/Genomics, and Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). I did undergraduate research on genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of the wild soybean (Glycine soja) with Dr. Bao-Hua Song and phylogenetics/population genetics of the human malaria parasite (Plasmodium spp.) with Dr. Daniel Janies.


Research Interest

I am very interested in eukaryotic gene regulation, specifically transcriptional regulation. I currently work on sequence-specific transcription factors in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum.


Research Summary

My research focuses on understanding the factors that influence transcription factor specificity in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. I am characterizing the binding of a subset of Apicomplexan APETALA2 (ApiAP2) transcription factors that prefer to bind similar DNA sequences in vitro. This phenomenon of paralogous transcription factors is odd due to the small percentage of genes encoding for transcription regulatory machinery in the parasite’s genome. This project will not only identify why P. falciparum has evolved to include multiple transcription factors that recognize a similar DNA motif, but will also contribute to our understanding of the complex gene regulatory network governing P. falciparum blood stage development.


Programs and Centers


Honors and Awards

  • Homer F. Braddock and Nellie H. and Oscar L. Roberts Fellowship
  • Center for Eukaryotic Regulation (CEGR) Training Grant
  • Paul M. Althouse Outstanding Teaching Award
  • Best Poster Award at 29th Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting (MPM)
  • Best Poster Award at 30th Annual Molecular Parasitology Meeting (MPM)
  • Mentoring Chair for the BMB Department Graduate Student Association (GSA)
  • Young Women in STEM Co-chair for the Graduate Women in Science (GWIS)