Samuel M. Pope Ph.D., J.D.

Investigator Page


2004 Ph.D., University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Department of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology. Thesis Research under Dr. Marc Rothenberg: Role of Eotaxin 1 and Eotaxin 2 in recruitment of Eosinophils to the lung in a mouse model;

1992 J.D., University of Cincinnati, College of Law;

1987 B.A., Microbiology Miami University (cum laude)

Postdoctoral fellowship:

LAllergy/Immunology supported by biological threats training grant, under Dr. Marsha Wills-Karp, Department of Immunobiology Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati.

Research Interests: 

Exosome mechanisms and the role of exosomes in Toxoplasma gondii infection pathology:

Research Projects:

Toxoplasma gondii  is a significant global health concern. Cats are the primary host, while infection of all other mammals is as secondary hosts, including the infection of nearly 2 billion people worldwide. Toxoplasma gondii infection is known to cause significant behavioral effects in secondary hosts. In rodents, Toxoplasma infection causes a reduced fear response to feline odors. In Humans Toxoplasma infection is positively correlated with schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. We hypothesized that Toxoplasma infection utilizes exosomes to cause behavioral changes in its secondary hosts.  Exosomes are small vesicles formed in the endoplasmic reticulum that are loaded with specific RNAs and proteins.  Exosomes are released from the parent cells and then bind to and release their contents into neighboring cells. The contents of the exosomes then exert effects on the recipient cell. Our results show exosomes are produced by Toxoplasma infected cells and that these exosomes are specifically loaded with unique mRNA when compared to exosomes from uninfected, serum-starved cells.  Interestingly, among the unique mRNA found in exosomes from Toxoplasma infected cells two specific mRNA species may be involved in altering brain function. Rab-13, a Ras signaling protein family member that is involved with neurite growth and development, and LLP homolog,   Further research is required to affirm these results and prove the proposed involvement with behavioral changes.

Representative Publications

Research Poster: Toxoplasma gondii Infected Cells produce Exosomes that Contain Unique mRNA Garred Ross Cline, OMS-II; Dr. Samuel Pope, Ph.D, JD; Gordon Research Conference- Biology of Host-Parasite Interactions in 2012 at Salve Regina University- Newport, RI.

Pope SM, Fulkerson PC, Blanchard C, Akei HS, Nikolaidis NM, Zimmermann N,  Molkentin JD, Rothenberg ME, Identification of a cooperative mechanism involving IL-13 and eotaxin-2 in experimental allergic lung inflammation J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 8;280(14):13952-61. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Pope SM, Zimmermann N, Stringer KF, Karow ML, Rothenberg ME., The eotaxin chemokines and CCR3 are fundamental regulators of allergen-induced pulmonary eosinophilia J Immunol. 2005 Oct 15;175(8):5341-50.


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