Dr. Thirugnanam, a Research Associate in the Gubbels lab, received a $40,000 research grant from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. The Knights Templar Foundation, a charitable foundation founded in 1956 provides assistance to people who need eye treatment and also supports research on pediatric ophthalmology. The grant money awarded to Thirugnanam is being used to study the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. Infection can lead to a variety of birth defects by progressive vision loss during childhood is the most common manifestation. The grant will permit research on how parasite can gain access to and leave cells of the host, two related and essential steps in the pathogenesis. Gubbels and Thirugnanam are discovering the genes involved in these pathways and they expect that this work will lead to the development of new drugs for the treatment of Toxoplasma infection. About the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc.