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When you listen to this discussion with Dr. McCall, you will hear about:

  • The use of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to ascertain and pinpoint disease microbes’ location in internal organs.
  • How effective rehabilitation for the host lies in this metabolomics testing rather than in destroying pathogens.
  • How the creation of compounds centered on these locations can battle the effects of these pathogens.

Laura-Isobel McCall, Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma, specializes in chemical cartography of host-microbe interactions. The McCall Lab, run by Dr. McCall, uses the application of analytical chemistry as chemical cartography by locating pathogens in the internal organs of mice.

Dr. McCall notes that understanding location leads to understanding function, and the McCall Lab discerns how pathogens, the microbiome, and the host interact. This helps them assimilate drugs with the ability to modulate the host’s metabolism. By means of metabolomics testing and chemical cartography, the McCall Lab is developing compounds to offset the effects of parasites. Dr. McCall has made a concerted effort to center their work on neglected deadly diseases such as trypanosoma cruzi, a tropical parasite that can be found in the United States.

Dr. McCall describes how chemical cartography with 3D mapping and metabolomics testing helps them comprehend the workings of particular pathogens. In addition, these studies reveal how key timing can be in halting the detrimental result of the parasitic attacks. In addition, the lab is manufacturing compounds that provide nutrients for the host based on the cartography findings, enabling the host to survive the effects of the parasite. They’ve found this is more effective than drugs designed to kill the parasite.

The lab hopes to apply this work to additional pathogens and diseases that are location-driven while continuing to cultivate and strengthen the effects of the compounds.

For more information, see the McCall Lab page at and find them on twitter as @LabMccall.

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