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  Home > VBS Faculty > Mark Rutherford

Mark Rutherford

Mark Rutherford


e-mail: ruthe003@umn.edu

295 Animal Science/Veterinary Medicine

1988 Fitch Avenue

University of Minnesota

St. Paul, MN 55108  



B.S., Illinois State
M.S., Illinois State
Ph.D., University of Illinois
Post-Doctoral, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Research Interests

Dr. Rutherford studies aspects of immunology and host-pathogen interactions.  The major focus of the laboratory is the molecular program responsible for parasitism of intestinal epithelial cells by the ubiquitous zoonotic agent, Cryptosporidium parvum.  Cryptosporidia are obligate parasites that uniquely progress through at least 7 developmental stages inside a single host organism.  This work generated a whole genome transcriptome over a 72 h time course of infection and has revealed a subset of C. parvum genes that appear to be expressed only by defined developmental stages.  The transcriptome has helped to confirm genome annotations and is shedding light on possible gene function.  In addition, the lab has cloned and studied expression of canine defensins.  These small, evolutionarily conserved peptides act as endogenous antibiotics against bacteria, fungi, protozoa and viruses via a primary mechanism that disrupts membrane integrity.  Work currently is investigating the possible connection between expression of endogenous antimicrobial peptides in the skin and the occurrence of atopic dermatitis and skin infections in dogs.


Selected Publications

(For a comprehensive list of Dr. Rutherford's recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)


Liu, J., M. Deng, C.A. Lancto, M.S. Abrahamsen, M.S. Rutherford, and S. Enomoto, 2009.  Biphasic regulation of apoptotic pathways in Cryptosporidium parvum-infected human intestinal epithelial cells.  Infect. Immun. 77:837-849.


Han, J., M.S. Rutherford, and K.S. Faaberg, 2009. Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus Nsp2 cysteine protease domain possesses both trans- and cis-cleavage activities.  J. Virol. 83:9449-9463. 


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