Undergraduate Student


image preview

Creation Date

Spring 2024


Leishmania are parasitic protozoans that cause the disease leishmaniasis that affects millions of people worldwide. Microscopically, the cells can be observed associating and forming clumps potentially as a response to stresses. The cells in this image were observed on the third day after exposure to an indole compound, harmaline. Additionally, rather than a static growing environment, these cells were grown on a rocker which kept them in constant motion. A relatively large cluster of Leishmania cells has accumulated into a spiral shape, hypothetically in response to the combination of movement and harmaline exposure, in contrast to control cells. My research studies the effects of rocking motion on the drug sensitivity of Leishmania cells. This will help us better understand if the ceremonial use of the indole compounds in some societies might pose a risk to people in regions where leishmaniasis is endemic.