About Our Research

How does the innate immune system fight off infections using ‘non-professional’ immune cells? In the Troemel lab, we address this question by studying the dynamic between the nematode C. elegans and two of its naturally occurring intestinal pathogens— the fungal, spore-forming microsporidium Nematocida parisii, and the positive-sense, single-stranded RNA Orsay virus. See the research tab for more information.

The Troemel Lab was established in La Jolla at the University of California San Diego in the fall of 2008. Click on the publications tab to learn more about our latest pursuits!

Small GTPase RAB-11 (green) surrounds N. parisii spores about to exit non-lytically from the apical side of C. elegans intestinal cells (red). Szumowski et al, PNAS 2014.

Events and Publications

End-of-Rotation Celebration for Rasika

Bidding a socially-distanced farewell to Rasika, the latest UC San Diego student to rotate through the Troemel lab! Under the guidance of Spencer, Rasika made some wonderful contributions to a project seeking to identify interactors…

Going Away Lunch for Bretta

Celebrating Bretta’s accomplishments during her time in the Troemel lab over a socially distanced pizza picnic! Lab manager at the time of her departure, Bretta kept our lab running smoothly during a sudden transition to…


Featured Publication

A cullin-RING ubiquitin ligase promotes thermotolerance as part of the intracellular pathogen response in Caenorhabditis elegans. Panek J, Gang SS, Reddy KC, Luallen RJ, Fulzele A, Bennett EJ, Troemel ER. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Apr 7;117(14):7950-7960. 

Congratulations to current lab member Spencer and lab alum Johan Panek as we celebrate their latest PNAS publication over lunch.

This publication is in collaboration with the Bennett Lab. Click below to see the original post!

Global Immunotalks: Characterization of the Intracellular Pathogen Response in C. elegans

Exploring innate immunity in C. elegans with Emily Troemel

Global Immunotalks is a presentation series organized by Carla V. Rothlin and Elina I. Zúñiga that explores a variety of immunology-related topics. Started back in April, these talks are hosted via zoom every Wednesday at 9 AM, with videos of presentations uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.
In the featured video, our own Emily Troemel gives an introduction to C. elegans innate immunity, and shares some of the exciting research that our lab continues to explore!
Click below for more presentations in the Global Immunotalks series.

UCSD Round Table: COVID-19

A Deep Look into the Biology and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2, Causative Agent of COVID-19

Join our own Emily Troemel and other UC San Diego infectious disease researchers as they provide an overview of the biology and evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
In the featured roundtable, they share their expertise in the dynamics of host-pathogen interactions and viral life-cycles and how they relate to this global challenge. Click below to see the second installment— Vaccines, Drugs, and the Evolutionary Arms Race— as well as other COVID-19 related videos.
A silver lining in the dark cloud of COVID-19

While it is true that the ongoing pandemic has necessitated a transition to work from home in order to minimize the spread of SARS-CoV-2, we are taking advantage of virtual communications to strengthen the ties to
our collaborators. We are currently hosting joint weekly lab meetings across states and continents, uniting scientific minds in one zoom room to facilitate the flow of ideas!

David Wang Lab at WUSM

St. Louis, Missouri

Robert Luallen Lab at SDSU

San Diego, California

Graduate Program Affiliations

Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences

at UC San Diego

"Providing world-class research training in the basic biological sciences to equip a diverse group of trainees for a variety of scientific careers."

Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

at UC San Diego

"Dedicated to training the next generation of biomedical scientists in a collaborative, inclusive, and multidisciplinary environment."

Get in Touch

Lab Address

9500 Gilman Dr, #0349

4205 Bonner Hall

La Jolla, CA 92093-0349

Lab Phone

(858) 246-0882