About Our Research

How does the innate immune system fight off infections using ‘non-professional’ immune cells? In the Troemel lab, we address this question by studying the dynamic between the nematode C. elegans and two of its naturally occurring intestinal pathogens— the fungal, spore-forming microsporidium Nematocida parisii, and the positive-sense, single-stranded RNA Orsay virus. See the research tab for more information.

The Troemel Lab was established in La Jolla at the University of California San Diego in the fall of 2008. Click on the publications tab to learn more about our latest pursuits!

Small GTPase RAB-11 (green) surrounds N. parisii spores about to exit non-lytically from the apical side of C. elegans intestinal cells (red). Szumowski et al, PNAS 2014.

Featured Publications

Higher magnification imaging shows that epidermis-specific expression of
pals-25(Q293*) in young adults induces pals-5p::GFP expression
in both the epidermis (white arrows ‘E’) and intestine (yellow arrows ‘I’).
Gang, S.S., Grover, M., Reddy, K.C., Raman, D., Chang, Y.T., Ekiert, D.C., Barkoulas, M., Troemel, E.R. A pals-25 gain-of-function allele triggers systemic resistance against natural pathogens of C. elegans. PLoS Genetics 18.10 (2022).

Congratulations to Postdoc Spencer Gang on his latest publication characterizing a pals-25 gain-of-function allele with a premature stop.

In collaboration with the Barkoulas lab, we found that this allele activates two related gene expression programs: the Oomycete Recognition Response in the epidermis, and the Intracellular Pathogen Response in the intestine.

Click the publication title to find out more!

Lažetić, V., Wu, F., Cohen, L.B. et al. The transcription factor ZIP-1 promotes resistance to intracellular infection in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nat Commun 13, 17 (2022).

Congratulations to Postdoc Vladimir Lažetić on his latest publication, which identifies ZIP-1 as a key transcription factor in the intracellular pathogen response (IPR) that promotes resistance to RNA virus and other intracellular pathogen infections in C. elegans.

Click below for UC San Diego’s press release regarding the publication!

C. elegans intestinal cells infected with Orsay virus (red) and ZIP-1 protein expression (green) that is induced only in the presence of the DRH-1/RIG-I receptor.

Prof. Emily Troemel opening plenary talk at the
23rd International C. elegans conference

C. elegans 2021 Conference Opening Plenary Talk
Tune in to the opening plenary session talk by Prof. Emily Troemel at the 23rd International C. elegans Conference, introduced by her former postdoctoral fellow Eillen Tecle, now Asst Professor at CSU-Dominguez Hills.

Eillen Tecle, PhD

This session— chaired by Barbara Conradt (University College London, UK) and Piali Sengupta (Brandeis University, USA)— features talks that discuss topics of interest in C. elegans research. Emily’s talk on host/pathogen interactions, Worm Health Organization: Understanding the Pandemics Facing C. elegans, is featured here.
To check out the full video or more content from the GSA click below!

Global Immunotalks: Characterization of the
Intracellular Pathogen Response in C. elegans

Exploring innate immunity in C. elegans with Emily Troemel
Global Immunotalks is a presentation series organized by Carla V. Rothlin and Elina I. Zúñiga that explores a variety of immunology-related topics. Started back in April, these talks are hosted via zoom every Wednesday at 9 AM, with videos of presentations uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.
In the featured video, our own Emily Troemel gives an introduction to C. elegans innate immunity, and shares some of the exciting research that our lab continues to explore!
Click below for more presentations in the Global Immunotalks series.

The Scientist hosts SARS-CoV-2 webinar
with Profs. Emily Troemel and David Wang

Emily Troemel and David Wang on The ScientistComprehending a Pandemic: SARS-CoV-2 Uncovered

On June 17, 2020, our own Emily Troemel and WashU Med’s David Wang gave a talk discussing the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Topics for the talk include the emergence and basic biology of SARS-CoV-2, its potential host-pathogen interactions, the current state of the field in SARS-CoV-2 molecular biology research, and the relevant diagnostic tests and possibilities for treatment.

UCSD Round Table: COVID-19

A Deep Look into the Biology and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2, Causative Agent of COVID-19
Join our own Emily Troemel and other UC San Diego infectious disease researchers as they provide an overview of the biology and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In the featured roundtable, they share their expertise in the dynamics of host-pathogen interactions and viral life-cycles and how they relate to this global challenge. Click below to see the second installment— Vaccines, Drugs, and the Evolutionary Arms Race— as well as other COVID-19 related videos.

Events and Publications

Spencer and Vladimir Goodbye Brunch

A few weeks ago, we gathered at Emily’s house for a brunch to recognize current postdocs Vladimir and Spencer’s time with the lab, and to wish them well in their newly acquired faculty appointments! To…

Celebratory Brunch with Lab and Alumni

To recognize a variety of lab accomplishments, we celebrated together at Emily’s house for a pot-luck style lab brunch! Some of the many reasons for celebration included two new grants awarded to the lab, a…

A silver lining in the dark cloud of COVID-19

While it is true that the ongoing pandemic has necessitated a transition to work from home in order to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV-2, we are taking advantage of virtual communications to strengthen the ties to
our collaborators. We are currently hosting joint weekly lab meetings across states and continents, uniting scientific minds in one zoom room to facilitate the flow of ideas!

Graduate Program Affiliations

Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences

at UC San Diego

"Providing world-class research training in the basic biological sciences to equip a diverse group of trainees for a variety of scientific careers."

Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

at UC San Diego

"Dedicated to training the next generation of biomedical scientists in a collaborative, inclusive, and multidisciplinary environment."

Get in Touch

Lab Address

9500 Gilman Dr, #0349

4205 Bonner Hall

La Jolla, CA 92093-0349

Lab Phone

(858) 246-0882