Ann Cali

Ann Cali, Biology dept. faculty emerita


As a comparative pathobiologist/protistologist, my laboratory specializes in the study of obligate intracellular parasitic organisms of the phylum, Microsporidia, in all types of hosts including invertebrates, vertebrates, and humans.  We study many aspects of the biology of the microsporidian parasites especially their ultrastructure, specialized and/or unique organelles, development and pathology as well as their distribution, means of transmission, and identification.  We study these parasites in vivo and/or in vitro in cell cultures as the microsporidia cannot be cultivated outside host cell cytoplasm.  Our understanding of animal infections provides insights into human infection, as well as epidemiology, reservoir hosts, and transmission to humans.

Dr. Ann Cali’s lifelong work as a pathobiologist/protistologist has increased understanding of a microscopic threat to humans and animals, and in the process, helped doctors identify and treat it effectively.

Her research focus is the structure, development, and pathology of microsporidian parasites, which invade hosts ranging from humans and animals to invertebrates. Cali works with the dozen or so human-infecting strains of microsporidia, which either kill or cause serious problems such as intestinal, liver or kidney damage, or sinus infections. Although these parasitic organisms have existed for millennia, it is only in the last century or so that they were identified and only in recent decades that their role in spreading disease has been understood, thanks in part to Cali.

Cali is such an internationally recognized leader in her field of research that in 1993, some Russian scientists named a new strain of microsporidia in her honor: Anncaliia.

Cali also is a path-breaker in another way: she was the first female post-doctorate in veterinary pathology at Ohio State University, where she also earned her M.S. (zoology) and Ph.D. in zoology and entomology.  She also was the first woman in her field at Walter Reed Medical Complex’s Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, where she headed the Laboratory of Protozoology in the Geographic Pathology Division, Infectious Disease Branch.

Her passion for her research is matched only by her love of teaching; in fact, asked whether she prefers teaching or research, she replies: Both.  “You make the future if you teach,” Cali explains, noting with pride that many of her graduate assistants and former students are now researchers or medical doctors who are making an impact in their fields and on their patients.  Sharing her knowledge and motivating her students is a way to “pay it forward,” Cali says.  “Sending inspired students out into the world where they can make a difference is more productive than working in a lab for 24/7.”

Cali also received her B.S. in biology from the University of Florida; she came to Rutgers in 1974.




B.A. in Biology, University of Florida.

Ph.D. in Zoology and Entomology, Ohio State University.



Takvorian, PM, Buttle, KF, Mankus, D, Mannella, CA, Weiss LM, and A Cali.  2013.  The multilayered interlaced network (MIN) in the sporoplasm of the microsporidium Anncaliia algerae is derived from Golgi.  J Eukaryotic Microbiology 2013 Mar-Apr;60(2):166-178.

Sanders J, Myers MS, Tomanek L, Cali A, Takvorian PM, and ML Kent.  2012.  Ichthyosporidium weissii n. sp (Microsporidia) infecting the arrow goby (Clevelandia ios).  J Eukaryotic Microbiology 2012 May-Jun;59(3):258-267.

Ghosh K, Nieves E, Keeling P, Cali A, and LM Weiss.  2012.  A new vesicular compartment in Encephalitozoon cuniculi.  Microbes and Infection 2012 Apr;14(4):324-328.

Cali A, Kent M, Sanders J, Pau C, and P Takvorian.  2012.  Development, ultrastructural pathology, and taxonomic revision of the microsporidial genus, Pseudoloma and its type species Pseudoloma neurophilia, in skeletal muscle and nervous tissue of experimentally infected zebrafish Danio rerio.  J Eukaryotic Microbiology 2012 Jan-Feb;59(1):40-48.

Ghosh K, Nieves E, Keeling P, Pombert JF, Henrich PP, Cali A, and Weiss LM. 2011.  Branching network of proteinaceous filaments within the parasitophorous vacuole of Encephalitozoon cuniculi and Encephalitozoon hellem.  Infect Immun. 2011 Mar;79(3):1374-85. External[Link]

Cali A, Neafie R, Weiss LM, Ghosh K, Vergara RB, Gupta R, and Takvorian PM.  2010.  Human Vocal Cord Infection with the Microsporidium Anncaliia algerae.  J Eukaryot Microbiol. 2010 Nov-Dec;57(6):562-7. External[Link]

Bouzahzah B, Nagajyothi F, Ghosh K, Takvorian PM, Cali A, Tanowitz HB, and Weiss LM.  2010.  Interactions of Encephalitozoon cuniculi polar tube protein. Infection and Immunity 78(6):2745-53. External[Link]

Cali, A. and Takvorian, P.M.  2010.  Microsporidia. In Handbook of Protoctista, Second edition. Lynn Margulis, Editor. Jones and Bartlett, Boston. In press.

Williams, B., Cali, A., Takvorian, P.M. and Keeling, P.J. 2008.  Distinct localization patterns of two putative mitochondrial proteins in the microsporidian Encephalitozoon cuniculi. J.Euk. Microbiol. 55(2):131-133. [ExternalLink]

Kaneshiro,E.S.,Cali, A.,Cushion,M.T., Lindsay,D.S., Marciano-Cabral,F., Mead,J.R., Weiss,L.M. 2006. The international workshops on opportunistic Protists. J.Euk. Microbiol. 53:S1-S7. External[Link]

Takvorian, P.M., Buttle, K., Mannella, C.A., Weiss, L.M., Cali, A.  2006.  High Voltage Electron Microscopy and Computerized Tomography: New Approaches to Study Microsporidian Spore Internal Organization. J.Euk. Microbiol. 53:S55-S57. External[Link]

Ghosh, K., Takvorian, P. M., Cali, A., Weiss, L.M.  2006 . Heterologous Expression of an Encephalitozoon cuniculi Aquaporin in Xenopus Oocytes. J.Euk. Microbiol. 53:S72-S73. External[Link]

Xu, Y., Takvorian, P.M., Cali,A., Zhang, H., Orr, G., Weiss,, L.M.  2006.  Identification of a new spore wall protein from Encephalitozoon cuniculi. Infection and Immunity. 74: 239-247. External[Link]

Ghosh, K., Cappiello, C.D., McBride, S.M., Occi, J.L., Cali, A., Takvorian, P. M., McDonald, T.V., Weiss, L.M. 2006.  Functional characterization of a putative aquaporin from Encephalitozoon cuniculi, a microsporidian pathogenic to humans.  Int. J. Parasitol. 36: 57-62. External[Link]

Cali, A. 2006.  Microsporidia.  In: Waterborne Pathogens (AWWA Manual M48 second edition) American Water Works Association, Denver, Colorado. p. 221-228.

Gamble, K.C., Garner,M.M., West, G., Didier,E.S., Cali, A., Alvarado,T.P.  2005. Kyphosis associated with microsporidial myositis in San Marcos salamanders (Eurycea nana). J. Herpetologic Medicine and Surgery.  15(4):14-18. External[Link]

Cali, A., Weiss, L.M., and Takvorian, P.M.  2005. An Analysis of the Microsporidian Genus Brachiola, with Comparisons of Human and Insect Isolates of B. algerae. J.Euk. Microbiol. 51:678-685. External[Link]

Cali, A., Weiss, L.M., and Takvorian, P.M.  2005. A review of the development of two types of human skeletal muscle infections from Microsporidia associated with pathology in invertebrates and cold-blooded vertebrates.  Folia Parasitologica, 52:51-61. External[Link]

Takvorian, P.M., Weiss, L.M., and Cali, A.  2005.  The early events of Brachiola algerae infection: spore germination, sporoplasm structure, and development within host cells. Folia Parasitologica, 52:118-129. External[Link]

Zhang, H., Huang, H., Cali, A., Takvorian, P.M., Feng, X., Zhou, G. and Weiss, L.M.  2005.  Investigations into microsporidian methionine aminopeptidase type 2: a therapeutic target for microsporidiosis. Folia Parasitologica, 52:182-192. External[Link]