Juan C. Pizarro, PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
J Bennett Johnston Bldg. Room 133
1430 Tulane Avenue 
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: (504) 988-2287
Fax: (504) 988-6686

Dr. Pizarro's lab page

Research Interests:

To investigate the interactions between human and parasite proteins to understand the host-parasite relationship between Plasmodium falciparum and its human host.



Educational Background:

  • Doctorat en Sciences (PhD), Université de Paris XI, 2001, Paris, France
  • DEA (M. Sc.), Université de Paris XI, 1997, Paris, France
  • B. Sc., Universidad de Los Andes, 1996, Colombia


Professional Achievements:

  • Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale fellowship, 2000 – 2001
  • Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC) fellowship, 1999 – 2000


Selected Publications:

Cardenas, D., Carter, PM., Nation, CS., Pizarro, JC., Guidry, J., Aiyar, A., & Kelly, BL. (2015). LACK, a RACK1 ortholog, facilitates cytochrome c oxidase subunit expression to promote Leishmania major fitness. Molecular microbiology, 96(1), 95-109.

Neculai D, Schwake M, Ravichandran M, Zunke F, Collins RF, Peters J, Neculai M, Plumb J, Loppnau P, Pizarro JC, Seitova A, Trimble WS, Saftig P, Grinstein S, Dhe-Paganon S. (2013). Structure of LIMP-2 provides functional insights with implications for SR-BI and CD36. Nature, 504(7478), 172-6.  

Pizarro JC, Hills T, Senisterra G, Wernimont AK, Mackenzie C, Norcross NR, Ferguson MA, Wyatt PG, Gilbert IH, Hui R. (2013). Exploring the Trypanosoma brucei Hsp83 potential as a target for structure guided drug design. PLoS Negl Trop Dis., 7(10), e2492.   

Qiu, W., Dong A., Pizarro JC., Botchkarev A., Min J., Wernimont A. K., Hills T., Hui R. and Artz J. D. (2012). Crystal structures from the Plasmodium peroxiredoxins: new insights into oligomerization and product binding. BMC Structural Biology, 12(1), 2.

Kryshtafovych A, Moult J, Bartual SG, Bazan JF, Berman H, Casteel DE, Christodoulou E, Everett JK, Hausmann J, Heidebrecht T, Hills T, Hui R, Hunt JF, Seetharaman J, Joachimiak A, Kennedy MA, Kim C, Lingel A, Michalska K, Montelione GT, Otero JM, Perrakis A, Pizarro JC, van Raaij MJ, Ramelot TA, Rousseau F, Tong L, Wernimont AK, Young J, Schwede T. (2011). Target highlights in CASP9: Experimental target structures for the critical assessment of techniques for protein structure prediction. Proteins., 79 Suppl 10, 6-20.   

Hills T, Srivastava A, Ayi K, Wernimont AK, Kain K, Waters AP, Hui R, Pizarro JC. (2011). Characterization of a new phosphatase from Plasmodium. Mol Biochem Parasitol., 179(2), 69-79.    

Pizarro JC., Boulot G., Bentley G. A., Gómez K. A., Hoebeke J., Hontebeyrie M., Levin M. J. and Smulski C. R. (2011). Crystal Structure of the Complex mAb 17.2 and the C-Terminal Region of Trypanosoma cruzi P2β Protein: Implications in Cross-Reactivity. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 5(11), e1375.

Bakszt R, Wernimont A, Allali-Hassani A, Mok MW, Hills T, Hui R, Pizarro JC. (2010). The crystal structure of Toxoplasma gondii pyruvate kinase 1. PLoS One, 5(9), e12736.

Hills T., Srivastava A., Wernimont A., Ayi K., Kain K., Waters A. P., Hui R. and Pizarro JC. (2010). Characterization of a new phosphatase from Plasmodium falciparum associated with schizogony. Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, 179(2), 69-79.

Xu B., Pizarro JC., Holmes M., McBeth C., Groh V., Spies T. and Strong R. K. – 2010 "Crystal Structure of a γδ T Cell Receptor Specific for the Human MHC Class I Homolog MICA" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108(6): 2414-2419.

Wernimont A. K., Amani M., Qiu W., Pizarro JC., Artz J. D., Lin Y.-H., Lew J., Hutchinson A. and Hui R. – 2010 "Structures of parasitic CDPK domains point to a common mechanism of activation" Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics 79(3): 803-820

Bakszt R., Wernimont A., Hassani A., Hui R. and Pizarro J. C. – 2010 "The Crystal Structure of Toxoplasma gondii Pyruvate Kinase" PLoS ONE 5(9): e12736.

Bao G., Clifton M., Hoette T. M., Mori K., Deng S.-X., Qiu A., Viltard M., Williams D., Paragas N., Leete T., Kulkarni R., Li X., Lee B., Kalandadze A., Ratner A. J., Pizarro J. C., Schmidt-Ott K. M., Landry D. W., Raymond K. N., Strong R. K. and Barasch J.– 2010 "Iron Traffics in Circulation Bound to a Siderocalin (Ngal)-Catechol Complex" Nature Chemical Biology 6(8): 602-609.

Abergel R. J., Clifton M. C., Pizarro JC., Warner J. A., Shuh D. K., Strong R. K. and Raymond K. N. – 2008 "The Siderocalin/Enterobactin Interaction: A Link between Mammalian Immunity and Bacterial Iron Transport" Journal of the American Chemical Society 130(34): 11524-11534

Kaiser B., Pizarro JC., Kerns J. and Strong R. K. – 2008 "Structural basis for NKG2A/CD94 recognition of HLA-E" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(18): 6696-6701.

Chesne-Seck M.-L., Pizarro JC., Vulliez-Le Normand B., Collins C. R., Blackman M. J., Faber B. W., Remarque E. J., Kocken C. H.M., Thomas A. W., Bentley G. A. – 2005 "Structural comparison of apical membrane antigen 1 orthologues and paralogues in apicomplexan parasites" Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 144: 55-67.

Pizarro J. C., Vulliez-Le Normand B., Chesne-Seck M.-L., Collins C. R., Withers-Martinez C., Hackett F., Blackman M. J., Faber B. W., Remarque E. J., Kocken C. H.M., Thomas A. W., Bentley G. A. – 2005 "Crystal structure of the malaria vaccine candidate Apical Membrane Antigen 1" Science 308: 408-411

Piñeyro M. D.*, Pizarro J. C.*, Lema F., Pritsch O., Cayota A., Bentley G. A. and Robello C. – 2005 "Crystal structure of the tryparedoxin peroxidase from the human parasite Trypanosoma cruzi" Journal of Structural Biology 150: 11-22. * Authors contributing equally to the work

Oppezzo P., Dumas G., Bouvet J. P., Robello C., Cayota A., Pizarro JC.,. Dighiero G. and Pritsch O. – 2004 "Somatic mutations can lead to a loss of superantigenic and polyreactive binding" European Journal of Immunology 34(5):1423-1432

Pizarro JC., Chitarra V., Verger D., Holm I., Pêtres S., Dartville S., Nato F., Longacre S. and Bentley G. A. -2003 "Crystal Structure of a Fab Complex Formed with PfMSP1-19, the C-Terminal Fragment of Merozoite Surface Protein 1 from Plasmodium falciparum: A Malaria vaccine candidate" Journal of Molecular Biology 328(5):1091-103

Pizarro JC., Vulliez-Le Normand B., Riottot M.-M., Budkowska A. and Bentley G. A. – 2001 "Structural and functional characterization of a monoclonal antibody specific for the PreS1 region of Hepatitis B virus" FEBS letters 509: 463-468

Romaña C. A., Pizarro JC., Rodas E. and Gilbert E. - 1999 "Palm trees as ecological indicators of risk areas for Chagas disease" Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 93: 594-595

Pizarro JC. and Romaña C. A. -1998 "Variación estacional de una poblacion silvestre de Rhodnius pallescens Barber, 1932 (Heteroptera: Triatominae) en la costa caribe colombiana" Bulletin de l'IFEA 27(2): 309-325



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Department of Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-3558