The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper




College of Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Kvaal

Second Advisor

Brian Olson

Third Advisor

Cassidy Dobson

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Toxoplasma gondii belongs to the phylum the Apicomplexa, a phylum that mainly consists of difficult to study intracellular protozoan parasites. The zoonosis caused by T. gondii is called toxoplasmosis. Even though most healthy individuals infected will be asymptomatic, a T. gondii infection can be lethal for individuals with a compromised immune system. Non-specific drugs exist to treat toxoplasmosis, but these are typically not able to eliminate T. gondii completely from the infected host and infection reoccurs. The proteins involved in T. gondii’s unique cell cycle are considered prime targets for the development of new anti-parasitic drugs. However, in order to target vital and unique T. gondii proteins these must first be identified and their interactions characterized. One such potential protein would be the putative T. gondii cell cycle protein TgCyc2. TgCyc2 has previously been found to interact with TgIMC1 and TgCDK1 in a yeast two-hybrid screen. It is hypothesized that TgCyc2 targets TgCDK1 to a specific suborganellar location by binding to the inner membrane protein TgIMC1. Here an initial attempt to elucidate this mechanism via a yeast two-hybrid test is described.


I have always counted myself as lucky for having the most loving and unwavering support of both my parents and big brothers. They have cheered me on and their support has made this possible. To this list I am lucky to have added my fiancé John Nordlie who supports me beyond my imagination and whom I would be lost without. I would also like to extend a big thank you to SarTec Corporation for their support during these two years at Saint Cloud State.

A huge thank you goes to my advisor Dr. Christopher Kvaal for sharing his passion, being patient, and imparting his knowledge on me. Dr. Kvaal was always available to teach me something new. I am also grateful for the opportunity he gave to me to create a flexible, unique, and an educational time at Saint Cloud State University.

Thank you to Dr. Brian Olson and Dr. Cassidy Dobson for your ideas on the project, feedback, and for serving on my committee. Another thank you goes to the Graduate and Undergraduate students who helped me with my project. Lastly I would also like to say thank you to the Saint Cloud Department Biology Faculty and Staff who have assisted me and who’s classes I have enjoyed to taking these past two years.



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