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Laura-Isobel McCall, PhD

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Laura-Isobel McCall, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Laura-Isobel McCall, PhD


101 Stephenson Parkway, office 3770
Norman, OK 73019
(405)325-9385 (Office)

McCall Lab Website

B.Sc., 2009, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Ph.D., 2013, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Postdoc, 2013-2014 University of California San Francisco; 2014-2017 University of California San Diego

Research Areas:

Microbiome, Microbe-Host and Microbe-Microbe Communication, Parasitology, Chemical Cartography

Research interests:

Our work focuses on understanding the interplay between mammalian hosts, their environment and microbes, with the ultimate goal of improving human health. These interactions are mediated by chemical signals, via small molecules involved for example in establishment and maintenance of our commensal microbiota, or in the development of infectious diseases. We are also interested in understanding how a given microenvironment influences microbial phenotype, in connection with disease development. We identify these molecules using mass spectrometry-based metabolomic techniques, combined with big data statistical tools and three-dimensional modeling to place molecules in their spatial context. Current research focuses on American trypanosomiasis, a neglected parasitic infection that causes heart failure and digestive pathologies in the United States and in Latin America. We seek to understand the parasite-heart interaction by mapping parasite distribution across heart regions, in combination with chemical cartography to identify co-occurring metabolites affecting parasite growth and distribution. We are also exploring the small molecules involved in the interplay between the parasite and the gut microbiota, to build a functional understanding of gastrointestinal symptom development. Our work will help develop new methods to determine patient prognosis and will guide research into the development of new antiparasitic treatments.

Relevant publications:

Vrbanac A, Taylor B, Aksenov A, Callewaert C, Debelius J, Gonzalez A, Kosciolek T, McCall L-I, McDonald D, Melnik AV, Morton JT, Navas J, Quinn R, Swafford A, Thompson LR, Tripathi A, Vasquez-Baeza Y, Xu ZZ, Zaneveld J, Zhu Q, Caporaso JG, Dorrestein PC and Knight R (2018), Best practices for analyzing microbiomes, Nature Reviews Microbiology 16(7):410-422

McCall L-I *, Tripathi A, Vargas F, Knight R, Dorrestein PC and Siqueira-Neto JL (2018), Experimental Chagas disease-induced perturbations of the gut microbiome and metabolome, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 12 (3):e0006344

McCall L-I *, Morton JT, Bernatchez JA, Siqueira-Neto JL, Knight R, Dorrestein PC and McKerrow JH (2017), Mass spectrometry-based chemical cartography of a cardiac parasitic infection, Analytical Chemistry 89 (19):10414-10421

Ekins S,  Siqueira-Neto JL, McCall L-I, Sarker M, Yadav M, Ponder EL, Kallel A, Bunin B, McKerrow JH and Talcott C (2015), Machine learning models and pathway genome data base for Trypanosoma cruzi drug discovery, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9(6): e0003878

McCall L-I, El Aroussi A, Choi JY, Vieira DF, De Muylder G, Johnston JB, Chen S, Kellar D, Siqueira-Neto JL, Roush WR, Podust LM and McKerrow JH (2015), Targeting ergosterol biosynthesis in Leishmania donovani: essentiality of sterol 14alpha-demethylase, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 9 (3): e0003588

McCall L-I, Zhang WW, Dejgaard K, Diniz Atayde V, Mazur A, Ranasinghe S, Liu J, Olivier M, Nilsson T and Matlashewski G (2015), Adaptation of Leishmania donovani to cutaneous and visceral environments : in vivo selection and proteomic analysis, Journal of Proteome Research 14 (2): 1033-59.