Tobili Yvonne Sam-Yellowe, PhD, MPH
 Title: Professor
 Dept: Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
 Office: SI 213
 Phone: 216-687-2068,  216-687-2482
 Fax: 216-687-6972
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. SI 213, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


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Research Keywords:
Plasmodium falciparum, P. yoelii, host cell invasion, Rhoptries, Maurer's clefts, RhopH3, PfMC-2TM, Colpodella sp., Voromonas pontica, Myzocytosis
Ph.D., University of Montana, 1986
Brief Bio:
BS      Microbiology, University of Oklahoma 1979
MS      Microbiology, University of Oklahoma 1981
PhD      Microbiology, University of Montana 1986
Postdoc              Biochemical Parasitology, The Rockefeller University 1986-1990
MPH                  Public Health, Cleveland State University 2009
Certificate        Advanced Study in Bioethics, Cleveland State University 2009
Honors and Awards:
Fogarty International Center of the U.S., NIH, Minority International Training (MIRT) Program, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland UK 1996

Fogarty International Center of the U.S., NIH, Course on Vectors and Vector Borne Diseases in Africa, Bamako, Mali 1997

New England Biolabs Molecular Biology Summer Workshops, Smith College, Northampton, MA 2000

National Science Foundation Chautauqua Short Course Updating Immunology
Whitehead Institute, Cambridge, MA 2001

National Institutes of Health (R21), 2005-2007

Cleveland State University Established Full-time Faculty Research Development Program (EFFRD), 2005-2007
Creative and Activities:
Sam-Yellowe, T. Y. Immuology: Overview and Laboratory Manual (

Sam-Yellowe, T. Y., Topics in General Parasitology; Life cycles, Pathogenesis, and Laboratory Exercises, Van Griner Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sam-Yellowe, T. Y. Do You Speak Immunology? Random clonal selection dialogues and vicissitudes of immunity, Van Griner Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio

Sam-Yellowe, T. Cell Chemistry, Structure, Function & Principles of Biotechnology, Van Griner Publishing, Cincinnati, Ohio
Research Interests:
1. Malaria immunology, cell biology and molecular biology
2. Colpodella species and Voromonas pontica cell biology

A major research area in my lab involves investigations of the role of rhoptry proteins in erythrocyte binding and invasion by Plasmodium merozoites. Investigations include: proteome analysis of the merozoite rhoptries, study of the immune response to rhoptry proteins & identification of determinants of blood stage immunity to Plasmodium in murine models, development of diagnostic biomarkers for malaria and mechanisms of the formation and function of the parasitophorous vacuole during intracellular blood stage development of Plasmodium. Rhoptries are specialized organelles found in invasive stages of Apicomplexan parasites such as in Plasmodium sp, the causative agent of malaria. Rhoptry proteins released during merozoite attachment and invasion into the host erythrocyte aid in the formation of the tight junction and parasitophorous vacuole. We investigated the composition of the rhoptry organelle using antibody production against isolated rhoptries and also by multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) using isolated rhoptries. We identified novel proteins within the organelle that we are currently characterizing with the aim of identifying genes encoding proteins that participate in merozite invasion, parasitophorous vacuole formation, development of blood stage immunity and the identification of motifs critical to binding and host cell invasion shared among invasive stages (zoites) within the Apicomplexa.

Another area of interest in my lab concerns investigation of the life cycle and process of myzocytosis in Colpodella species maintained in culture with Bodo caudatus. The research is aimed at understanding the development of parasitism among the Apicomplexa, with Colpodella serving as a model organism. Colpodella species are free living protists possessing characteristic features of the apical complex typically associated with apicomplexans, such as rhoptries, micronemes, conoid and polar rings. Phylogenetically, Colpodella are close relatives of Apicomplexans.

We continue to investigate macromolecular trafficking within the infected erythrocyte. Our focus is on the Maurer's clefts (MCs), structures that are formed as part of an elaborate intracellular membrane network in Plasmodium falciparum- infected red blood cells. Proteins destined to secretory compartments within the infected erythrocyte and to the surface of the infected erythrocyte are transported through this network. Using proteome analysis of immune complexes, we identified a novel multigene family; PfMC-2TM that encodes proteins located in the MCs. We continue to investigate this new gene family to understand the mechanisms of protein traffic within the infected erythrocyte, the role of PfMC-2TM proteins in protein traffic and formation & maintenance of the MCs during the blood stage of P. falciparum.
Teaching Areas:
Human Biology in Health and Disease
Animal Biology
Cell Biology
Professional Affiliations:
American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)
American Committee of Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology (ACMCIP)
American Society of Microbiology (ASM)
Professional Experience:
Postdoctoral Associate Biochemical Parasitology, The
Rockefeller University, New York, NY (Laboratory of Dr.
Margaret Perkins, 1986-1990).
Professor of Biology Cleveland State University 1990 to present
Adjunct Faculty Department of Immunology, Lerner Research Institute of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. 1998 to present
Faculty Department of Life Sciences, International
Space University, Cleveland Summer Session, June 17- August 22, 1998. Topic: Microbes and Microgravity
Professional Service:
Section Editor, Parasitology Research
Immunology and Host-Parasite Interactions