Kwang-Poo Chang, Ph.D.

Room 2.353
Phone: (847) 578-8837

Dr. Chang received his B.S. in 1965 from the National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, a M.A. in 1968 and Ph.D. in 1972 in Cell Biology from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Parasitology at Rockefeller University in New York, NY from 1972 to 1974. He held the position of Research Associate from 1974 through 1976, Assistant Professor from 1976 to 1979, and Associate Professor from 1979 through 1983 at Rockefeller University. He joined the faculty at the current university in 1983 as Professor of Microbiology and Immunology.

Dr. Chang's main research interest is to develop strategies of treatment and prevention for infectious and non-infectious diseases through understanding molecular mechanisms of microbial virulence. Biological models studied include parasitic protozoa in mammalian cells and endosymbiotic bacteria in insects and protozoa.

His work, supported by NIH, has been focused on Leishmania model for microbial virulence. The key concept is the separation of invasive/evasive determinants responsible for infection and pathoantigenic determinants for immunopathology as the manifestation of the disease or virulence phenotype. Leishmania invasive/evasive determinants include enzymes, i.e. zinc protease/major surface glycoprotein (gp63), microsomal glycosyltransferase for protein glycosylation and nucleoside diphosphate kinase. Gp63 expression is regulated posttranslationally by N-glycosylation, which is in turn controlled by the glycosyltransferase gene expression. Secreted nucleoside diphosphate kinase is an evasive determinant to prevent ATP-induced P2X7-mediated apoptosis of macrophages. Other ongoing projects include genetic dissection of the unique metabolic defects, for example, in heme biosynthesis of trypanosomatid protozoa.

Dr. Chang's specific research interests include the following: (1) Molecular Biology: Structure, regulation and expression of virulence and virulence-regulating genes studied by molecular genetic approach, i.e. gene replacement and transfection; (2) Biochemistry: Purification and characterization of Leishmania gp63, microsomal N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase and nucleoside diphosphate kniase; (3) Cell Biology: Host-parasite cellular and molecular interactions; (4) Molecular Immunology: Porphyric Leishmania spp. as inducible suicidal mutants for photodynamic vaccination and therapy; and (5) Molecular Epidemiology: Leishmania genotype-phenotypec polymorphism in clinical pathology and epidemiology.

His long-term research interests further include: (1) Evolution, application and function aspects of bacterial endosymbiosis; (2) Regulation of Leishmania gene expression and vector designs; and (3) Development of porphyric Leishmania as a universal platform for photodynamic vaccinations and therapy.


Chang, KP. (2014) Vaccination for Disease Prevention and Control: The Necessity of Renewed Emphasis and New Approaches. J Immunol Immunotech. 1(1): 1-4.

Alam MZ, Nakao R, Sakurai T, Kato H, Qu JQ, Chai JJ, Chang KP, Schönian G, Katakura K. (2014) Genetic diversity of Leishmania donovani/infantum complex in China through microsatellite analysis. Infect Genet Evol. 22C:112-119.

Jecna, L, Dostalova, A, Wilson, R, Seblova, V, Chang, KP, Bates, PA, Volf, P (2013) The role of surface glycoconjugates in Leishmania midgut attachment examined by competitive binding assays and experimental development in sand flies. Parasitology 140:1026-32.

Kaur J, Dutta S, Chang KP, Singh N A (2013) Member of the Ras oncogene family, RAP1A, mediates antileishmanial activity of monastrol. J Antimicrob Chemother. 68:1071-80.

Dutta, S, Chang, C, Kolli, BK, Sassa, S, Yousef, Showe, M, Showe, L, and Chang, KP. (2012) Delta-aminolevulinate-induced host-parasite porphyric disparity for selective photolysis of transgenic Leishmania in the phagolysosomes of mononuclear phagocytes: A potential novel platform for vaccine delivery. Eukaryotic Cell 11: 430-441.

Dutta S, Waki K, Chang KP. (2012) Combinational Sensitization of Leishmania with Uroporphyrin and Aluminum Phthalocyanine Synergistically Enhances their Photodynamic Inactivation in vitro and in vivo. Photochem Photobiol. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2012.01076.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Wang Y, Chen Y, Xin L, Beverley SM, Carlsen ED, Popov V, Chang KP, Wang M, Soong L (2011) The differential microbicidal effects of human histone proteins H2A and H2B on Leishmania promastigotes and amastigotes. Infect Immun. 79:1124-33.

Working Group on Research Priorities for Development of Leishmaniasis Vaccines, Costa CH, Peters NC, Maruyama SR, de Brito EC Jr, Santos IK, et al. (2011) Vaccines for the leishmaniases: proposals for a research agenda. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 5:e943.

Dutta S, Ongarora BG, Li H, Vicente Mda G, Kolli BK, Chang KP. Intracellular targeting specificity of novel phthalocyanines assessed in a host-parasite model for developing potential photodynamic medicine.PLoS One. 2011;6(6):e20786. Epub 2011 Jun 6

Mehta SR, Zhang XQ, Badaro R, Spina C, Day J, Chang KP, Schooley RT. (2010) Flow cytometric screening for anti- leishmanials in a human macrophage cell line. Exp Parasitol. 126:617-20.

Varela M RE, Lorena Muñoz D, Robledo SM, Kolli BK, Dutta S, Chang KP, Muskus C. (2009) Leishmania (Viannia) panamensis: An in vitro assay using the expression of GFPfor screening of antileishmanial drug. Exp Parasitol. 122:134-9. PubMed PMID: 19303871.

Kumari, S., Samant, M., Khare, P., Misra, P., Dutta, S., Kolli, B.K., Sharma, S., Chang, KP and Dube, A. (2009) Photodynamic vaccination of hamsters with inducible suicidal mutants of Leishmania amazonensis elicits T cell-transferable immunity against visceral leishmaniasis. Eup J. Immunol. 38:1-14.

Mehta SR, Huang R, Yang M, Zhang XQ, Kolli B, Chang KP, Hoffman RM, Goto Y, Badaro R, Schooley RT.(2008) Real time in vivo gfp imaging in a murine leishmaniasis model: a new tool for leishmania vaccine and drug discovery. Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 15, 1764–1770.

Dutta, S., Kolli, BK, Tang, A., Sassa, S. and Chang, K.-P. (2008) Transgenic Leishmania model for delta-aminolevulinate-inducible monospecific uroporphyria: Cytolytic phototoxicity initiated by singlet oxygen-mediated inactivation of proteins and its ablation by endosomal mobilization of cytosolic uroporphyrin. Eukaryot. Cell 7: 1146-1157.

Sanjay R. Mehta, Robert Huang, Meng Yang, Xing-Quan Zhang, Bala Kolli, Kwang-Poo Chang, Robert M. Hoffman, Yasuyuki Goto, Roberto Badaro and Robert T. Schooley (2008) Real-Time Vivo Green Fluorescent Protein Imaging of a MurineLeishmaniasis Model as a New Tool for Leishmania Vaccine and Drug Discovery. Clin. Vaccine Immunol. 15, 1764-1770.

Dutta, S., Sassa, S., Chang, KP (2008) Leishmania spp.: Delta-aminolevulinate-inducible porphyria by genetic complementation of incomplete heme biosynthesis. Exp Parasitol 118: 629-36.

Kolli, B.K., Costa, J, Chakrabarty, A. and Chang, K.-P. (2008) Leishmania release nucleoside diphosphate kinase to prevent ATP-dependent apoptosis of infected macrophages. Mol. Biochem. Parasitol. 158:163-175.

Mehmet S. Serin, Kayoko Waki, Kwang-Poo Chang, Gonul Aslan, Sahin Direkel, Feza Otag, Begum Kayar, Fatih Koksal, Gurol Emekdas (2007) Consistence of miniexon polymerase chain reaction–restriction fragment length polymorphism and single-copy gene sequence analyses in discriminating Leishmania genotypes. Diagn. Microbiol. Inf. Dis. 57: 295–299.

Waki, K., Dutta, S., Ray, D., Kolli, B., Kawazu, S.I., Lin, C.-P. and Chang, K.-P. (2007) Transmembrane molecules for phylogenetic analysis of pathogenic protists: Leishmania-specific informative sites in hydrophilic loops of trans-ER N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase.
karyot. Cell
6: 198-210.

Thiakaki M, Kolli B, Chang KP, Soteriadou K. (2006) Down-regulation of gp63 level in Leishmania amazonensis promastigotes reduces their infectivity in BALB/c mice. Microbes Infect. 8(6):1455-63.

Culha G, Uzun S, Ozcan K, Memisoglu HR, Chang KP. (2006) Comparison of conventional and polymerase chain reaction diagnostic techniques for leishmaniasis in the endemic region of Adana, Turkey. Int J Dermatol. 45(5):569-572.

Sivakumar R, Sharma P, Chang KP, Singh S. (2005) Cloning, expression, and purification of a novel recombinant antigen from Leishmania donovani. Protein Expr Purif. 6 (1):156-65.

Dutta, S, Ray, D, Kolli, BK, Chang, KP (2005) Photosensitization of Leishmania amazonensis in both extracellular and intracellular stages with phthalocyanine chloride for photolysis in vitro. Antimicrobial Ag Chemother 49: 4474-84.

Thiakaki M., Rohousova I., Volfova V., Volf P , Chang K.-P., Soteriadou K (2005) Sand fly species-specificity of saliva- mediated protective immunity in Leishmania amazonensis-BALB/c mouse mode. Microbes Infect. 7: 760-6.

Book Chapters

Chang K-P. (2014) Leishmaniases. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences,  3rd Edition.

Chang, KP. (2014) Leishmaniasis.  Chapter # 688. In: Reference module in Biomedical Sciences, Michael Caplan Ed., Elsevier, Oxford, UK

Chang, K.-P. (2013)  Forward “Drug Resistance in Leishmania Parasites, Consequences, Molecular Mechanisms and Possible Treatments”, Ponte-Sucre, Alicia; Diaz, Emilia; Padrón-Nieves, Maritza (Eds.) XIV, Springer.

Chang K-P (2012) Leishmaniases. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0001954.pub3, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Chang, K.-P. (2006) Molecular and immunological aspects of Leishmania relevant to control and treatment of leishmaniasis and other diseases in China [English with translation in Chinese]. In: Leishmaniasis and Phlebotomine sandflies in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China, Eds. J.J. Chai and L.R. Guan, Xinjiang People’s Publishing Co, pp. 51-79.

Chang K-P (2005) Leishmaniases. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0003824, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

UPDATED: 11.24.2014


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