James D. Bangs PhD

James Bangs

James D. Bangs
PhD

Grant T. Fisher Professor and Chair of Microbiology & Immunology

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Contact Information
5262 JSMBS
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
955 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-645-1827
Fax: 716-829-2158
jdbangs@buffalo.edu



Professional Summary:

Human African trypanosomiasis (commonly called Sleeping Sickness) is one of the global great neglected diseases, causing ~10,000 cases annually according to most recent estimates (2009). The related veterinary disease of livestock (Nagana) also has significant impact on human economic well being throughout sub-Saharan Africa wherever the insect vector (tsetse flies) are found. Both diseases are caused parasitic protozoa called trypanosomes (Trypanosoma brucei ssp.) Because trypanosomes are eukaryotic cells, organized similarly to every cell in our bodies, treatment of infection is not unlike cancer treatment in that chemotherapy against the parasite has harsh consequences for the patient. However, infection is invariably fatal without intervention, consequently new more specific drugs are desperately needed. In addition, because trypanosomes are an anciently divergent evolutionary lineage, they provide a unique model system for studying basic eukaryotic biology.

My laboratory focuses on the cell biology of these protozoa, specifically on intracellular trafficking of lysosomal and cell surface proteins as key aspects of the host:parasite relationship. The trypanosome lifecycle alternates between the mammalian bloodstream and the tsetse midgut, and each stage has a unique protein surface coat that forms the first line of contact with the host. These coat proteins are anchored in membranes by glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchors and are essential for survival in each stage. Consequently, correct protein targeting to the cell surface is critical to the success of the parasite. Also, endocytic and lysosomal functions are greatly up-regulated in the pathogenic bloodstream stage for both nutritional and defensive purposes. Using classic and current cell biological and biochemical approaches we work on four distinct areas: 1) GPI-dependent targeting of surface coat proteins; 2) machinery of secretory trafficking; 3) stage-specific lysosomal biogenesis and proteomics; and 4) role of sphingolipids in secretory transport. Our ultimate goal is to define aspects of trypanosomal secretory processes that may provide novel avenues to chemotherapeutic intervention.

Education and Training:

  • Fellowship, Postdoctoral Training, Standford University School of Medicine (1993)
  • Fellowship, Postdoctoral Training, Yale University Medical School (1987)
  • PhD, Biochemistry, Cellular & Molecular Biology, Johns Hopkins University (1986)
  • BS, Biology, Bates College (1977)

Employment:

  • Professor Emeritus, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medicine (2013-present)
  • Professor & Chair, Microbiology & Immunology, University at Buffalo (SUNY) Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (2012-present)
  • Professor, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison Medicine (2004–2013)
  • Associate Professor, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999–2004)
  • Assistant Professor, Medical Microbiology & Immunology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1993–1999)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Microbiology & Immunology, Standford University (1988–1993)
  • Post Doctoral Fellow, Cell Biology, Yale University (1987–1988)
  • Graduate Student, Biological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University (1981–1986)
  • Research Technician, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston (1980–1981)
  • Research Technician, Childrens Hospital Medical Center, Boston (1977–1979)

Awards and Honors:

  • Fellow American Academy of Microbiology (2019)
  • Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator in Molecular Parasitology (1997)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Program in Cancer Biology, Stanford University (1990)
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Postdoctoral Fellowship (1987)
  • Paul Ehrlich Graduate Student Award, Johns Hopkins Medical School (1986)
  • ARCS Foundation Award, Washington, D.C. Chapter (1986)
  • High Honors in Biology, Bates College (1977)
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Bates College (1977)
  • Maine Heart Association Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (1976)

Research Expertise:

  • Molecular parasitology: Molecular and cellular biology of African trypanosomiasis, Secretory and endocytic protein trafficking, Lysosomal biogenesis and function, Glycobiology of secretory proteins, Biochemistry of glycosylphosphatidyl inositol anchors, Sphingolipid metabolism

Grants and Sponsored Research:

  • July 2016–June 2021
    Secretory Protein Trafficking and Folding in African Trypanosomes
    National Institutes of Health
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,934,250
  • April 2019–January 2021
    Molecular Aspects of Tsetse and Trypanosome Transmission
    NIH
    Role: Contributor
  • March 2011–February 2016
    Lysosomal biogenesis and function in African Trypanosomes
    NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,250,000
  • July 2010–June 2015
    Secretion, protein targeting, and lipid metabolism in African Trypanosomes
    NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $1,000,000
  • December 2010–November 2012
    The lysosome of Trypanosoma brucei: a proteomic analysis
    NIH
    Role: Principal Investigator
    $275,000

Journal Articles:

See all (57 more)

Abstracts:

  • Tiengwe, C, Koeller, CM, Schwartz, KJ & JD Bangs. (2019) Glycosylation of transferrin receptor (TfR) in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei: steric constraints control GPI-glycan modification. VIII Kinetoplastid Molecular Cellular Biology Meeting, Marine Biological Laboratory. Woods Hole, Massachusetts (Sep)Poster
  • Koeller, CM, Smith, T, Gulick, AM and JD Bangs. (2020) The trypanosome lysosomal membrane glycoprotein p67 is a hydrolase of the N-terminal nucleophile (NTN) superfamily. British Society for Parasitology, Trypanosomaiais and Leishmaniasis Symposium. Granada, (Mar)Oral
  • Koeller, CM. & JD Bangs. (2019) Processing and targeting of cathepsin L (TbCatL) to the lysosome in Trypanosoma brucei. VIII Kinetoplastid Molecular Cellular Biology Meeting, Marine Biological Laboratory. Woods Hole, Massachusetts (Apr)Oral
  • Daniels, P, Khan, U, Bush, P and JD Bangs. (2019) Turnover of native VSG in Trypanosoma brucei. VIII Kinetoplastid Molecular Cellular Biology Meeting, Marine Biological Laboratory. Woods Hole, Massachusetts (May)

Professional Memberships:

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Society of Microbiology
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Presentations:

  • "Trypanosomal p67…a Cryptic Lysosomal Hydrolase?" Uniformed Services University (2020)
  • "The trypanosome lysosomal membrane glycoprotein p67 is a hydrolase of the N-terminal nucleophile (NTN) superfamily" British Society for Parasitology Trypanosomiasis & Leishmaniasis Symposium (2020)
  • "Tales from the Tryp: variant surface glycoprotein, GPI anchors & protein trafficking in African trypanosomes" Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Meharry Medical College, (2019)
  • "Tales from the Tryp: variant surface glycoprotein, GPI anchors & protein trafficking in African trypanosomes" Department of Biological Chemistry Retreat, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (2019)
  • "GPI anchors and the fate of surface proteins in African trypanosomes" Department of Genetics & Biochemistry, Clemson University (2018)
  • "GPI anchors and the fate of surface proteins in African trypanosomes" Department of Molecular Biology & Immunology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2018)
  • "GPI anchors and the fate of surface proteins in African trypanosomes" Department of Oral Biology, University at Buffalo Dental School (2018)
  • "GPI Anchored Proteins, ERAD & Antigenic Variation in African Trypanosomes" Pathobiology Graduate Program, Brown University (2016)
  • "Cargo Selection in the Early Secretory Pathway of Trypanosoma brucei" Department of Structural Biology, SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences/Hauptman Woodward Institute. (2014)
  • "Cargo selection in the Early Secretory Pathway of Trypanosoma brucei" International Congress of Parasitology (2014)
  • "N-Glycan Biosynthesis & Utilization in African Trypanosomes" Society for Glycobiology Meeting (2013)
  • "African Trypanosomes: Doing Basic Science in a Great Neglected Disease" Transmembrane Protein Center Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013)
See all (2 more)

Service Activities:

  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2020)
  • Department of Physiology & Biophysics Chair Search Comitteee; Chair (2019–2020)
  • Kinetoplastid Molecular & Cellular Biology Meeting; Program Committee (1 of 5) (2019)
  • JSMBS Strategic Planning Steering Committee; Member (2016)
  • The Wellcome Trust (UK); Ad Hoc Reviewer (2016)
  • NIH Path to Early Independence Award; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2016)
  • Vice Provost of Graduate Education/Dean of Graduate School Search Committee; Member (2014–2015)
  • Dean's Departmental Metrics Committee; Member (2014–2015)
  • The Wellcome Trust (UK);; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2014)
  • NIH R01 Transformative Research Award; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2014)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2012)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2011)
  • The Wellcome Trust (UK);; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2010)
  • Microbes in Health & Disease Training Grant Steering Committee (UW) Microbes in Health & Disease Training Grant Steering Committee; Committee Member (2008–2012)
  • University of Wisconsin Sciences Tenure Committee (Biological Division); Chair (2008–2009)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2008)
  • The Wellcome Trust (UK);; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2008)
  • Cell & Molecular Parasitology Training Grant (UW) Vice Director; Co-Director (2007–2011)
  • University of Wisconsin Biological Sciences Steering Council; Committee Member (2007–2009)
  • Molecular & Biochemical Parasitology; Member (2007–present)
  • Molecular Parasitology Meeting; Organizer (1 of 3) (2006–2009)
  • Eukaryotic Cell; member (2006–2015)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2006)
  • The Swiss National Science Foundation;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2006)
  • The Wellcome Trust (UK);; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2005)
  • The Swiss National Science Foundation;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2003)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Panel Member (2001–2005)
  • University of Wisconsin Medical School Admissions Committee University of Wisconsin Medical School Admissions Committee; Committee Member (2001–2002)
  • The Swiss National Science Foundation;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (2001)
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program Coordinating Committee (UW Cellular and Molecular Biology Training Program Coordinating Committee; Committee Member (2000–2004)
  • Microbiology Doctoral Training Program Steering Committee (UW) Microbiology Doctoral Training Program Steering Committee; Committee Member (1999–2005)
  • NIH Eukaryotic Pathogens Study Section; Ad Hoc Reviewer (1998–2000)
  • National Science Foundation; The Swiss National Science Foundation;; Ad Hoc Reviewer (1997)
  • EMBO Journal, Infection and Immunity, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Cell Biology, Journal of Cell Science, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Molecular Biology of the Cell, Molecular Microbiology, PLoS Pathogens, Proceedings National Academy of Sciences (USA), Traffic, others; Reviewer (1993–present)

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Contact Information

5262 JSMBS
University at Buffalo (SUNY)
955 Main Street
Buffalo, New York 14203
Phone: 716-645-1827
Fax: 716-829-2158
jdbangs@buffalo.edu